23 September 2015
Blog Tour: A Question of Betrayal by Zoe Miller
Do We Really Know Our Parents?
The old black and white photograph sits on a shelf in my writing room. It shows a young couple sitting in a field, with a rug spread beneath them and a big oak tree framing the background. They have their arms around each other and seem contained in a magical world of their own, oblivious to everything else including the photographer. It is a photograph that was taken of my parents when they were dating. It took me a long time to fully appreciate all the wonderful nuances it conveys as it blended into the furniture in my parent’s home for years, and I took it entirely for granted.
By the very egotistical nature of childhood, when we see ourselves as the centre of the universe, our parents are viewed as the solely the people who are responsible for looking after us, whose job is to nourish and protect us, clothe and feed us. That perspective can change slightly during the teenage years, as they sometimes become the people we rail against for imposing boundaries and curtailing our freedom. It’s only as we reach adulthood that we begin to realise our parents are complete individuals in their own right, and that they had lives before we came along to disrupt it all!
In A Question of Betrayal, Carrie Cassidy’s father paints a memorable picture of the special dynamic between Carrie and her parents; as a child, when her dad was helping with her maths homework and she was wrestling with Venn diagrams, he took a page of her copy book and drew a large circle, explaining that it represented Carrie’s mother and him, where no part of them existed without the other. Then he drew a smaller circle inside the big circle, explaining that this was Carrie, who was a part of them and always with them. The three musketeers, her dad often called them. The three amigos, her mother used to say. Years later, when Carrie is told that her mother had an affair with a young musician some time before she was born, it comes as a total shock to her. Even though the dates and places fit, it is impossible for Carrie to imagine her mother as a young woman with feelings and needs, and so consumed with passion that she betrayed her father. But the surprising news finally ejects Carrie out of the rut she was stuck in following her parents’ death, in order to seek out the truth.
The wheel of life comes full circle. I think it’s only when we have children of our own, and we are in the roles of parents and care givers, that we appreciate our parents as fully rounded people in their own right, with rich histories behind them of which we know little or nothing. There is a small framed photograph in my sitting room of my husband and me, which was taken when we were dating; we thought we owned the world right then, the bright young things who partied long and hard and expected to live forever, driven by dreams and passions and the sometimes foolhardy headiness of youth. Maybe it’s a good thing my children’s eyes skim unseeingly over it most of the time – and that to them it’s just an old photo of responsible Mum and Dad!
Zoë Miller writes contemporary fiction laced with intrigue and drama. She is published by Hachette Books Ireland and her latest book, A Question of Betrayal, is now out in paperback. When Zoë’s not escaping into her writing world, she juggles her time between her family and the day job. Find out more at www.zoemillerauthor.com, Facebook/zoemillerauthor, or follow Zoë on Twitter @zoemillerauthor.
A Question of Betrayal: Ever since the deaths of her adored parents, Carrie Cassidy has avoided risk and commitment, fearful of bringing something precious into her life only to lose it again. So now she finds herself working in yet another uninteresting job, and the love of her life, who wanted more than she could give, has left her. Will she ever move on?
Then, a mysterious woman visits Carrie and reveals a secret that forces her to delve into her mother's past. As Carrie learns more about the woman she thought she knew, she finds herself looking at her own life and wondering if she's living it the way her mother would have wanted her to. Meanwhile there is someone watching Carrie who would rather the past stay buried . . .
A Question of Betrayal is available in all good bookshops or online here