7 Miles Out – Carol Morley
A devastating autobiographical novel. IN 1977, Carol Morley (fictionalised as ‘Ann’) was eleven years old and living in Stockport when her dad drove her to school one morning then drove home and killed himself. Trapped in a house with her emotionally distant mother – Ann starts drinking at twelve, drops out of school at 16, and spends her teen trying to explore her emerging sexuality as well as coming to terms with her dad’s death. In a Manchester of the hedonistic 80s, Ann finds the perfect playground for her self-destruction and promiscuity, hiding behind heavy drinking and drugs, ambition-less and empty, trying to come to terms with why her father wanted to end his life. Told mainly from Ann’s (Carol’s) perspective, this story reveals the the often devastating consequences of family secrets, the lies we tell each other and ourselves, and a young woman’s struggle to find a place she belongs, finally finding a place at Central St Martins in London to study fine art and film and achieving international acclaim. Though names and some events have been changed, this is Carol’s compelling and inspirational true story. Fabulous writing combining depth and poignancy with wide appeal.