I’ve used these words as a tagline for my latest book, Deuce.
Why? Because I think the title isn’t really too indicative of what the story is about. When someone asks me to describe the plot, I have difficulty putting it into words, in any coherent way.
Seals: This has relevance as Charlotte, one of the main characters, is a marine biologist and her specialist subject was studying the grey seal population in the North Sea. Particularly poignant at a time when they were dying in great numbers from a mysterious disease.
Surrogacy: This word also concerns Charlotte. She gave birth to one child when she was at university and gave her up for adoption…in an arrangement with a lesbian couple.
Second chances: Again, Charlotte…her research vessel was lost at sea and she’s been living on the Faroe Islands with no memory of her life before. The reader meets her in the prologue when she seas a beached seal and her memories start to return. She remembers that she had a lover, Jay, and a new baby…the one they were going to bring up together.
Jay is an ex professional tennis player. That’s where the deuce analogy comes in. Her life after Charlotte’s ‘death’ has felt like one of those matches where gaining two points to win seems out of reach…continually returning to ‘deuce’…an even score.
Chapter One starts twenty-three years after Charlotte’s disappearance. Jay is engaged to be married. Both children Charlotte left behind are grown up.
In preparation for doing a reading from the book at the now cancelled Diva Literary Festival, I recorded the piece I was planning to read. In this scene, Jay’s fiancée Amanda comes to her house wanting to know about Charlotte and also where Jay spends her weekends.
Does she get the answers she wants? How does Charlotte’s return to ‘life’ affect those she left behind all that time ago?
Read the book to find out.