My memoir The Baby Box was officially published yesterday. However, the book has been available since the end of January and I’ve been enjoying a busy time selling copies. Therefore I’ve already received emails, cards and telephone calls from readers with their, always encouraging, comments.
Two questions about the book have repeatedly been asked: the first, was I an only child? Here is my answer.
No. I have two younger brothers, one is 3 years younger than me, the other 5 years younger than me. So around the time of the memoir, which takes place just over two years, one brother was 13-14, the other 11-12. Plus a few months. They were at home with me and my parents throughout the period covered by the memoir but they were at school during the day, just as my father was at the office.
I had taken the decision only to write events and scenes to include in the book if I could clearly remember them. This might seem odd but I genuinely don’t remember any dramatic action taking place with my brothers present. Of course there were meal-times, dealt with briefly in the text of the book. At the weekends I assume they were out a great deal. A sixteen-seventeen year old girl, facing the fall-out of being pregnant, isn’t concerned with keeping a record of her brothers’ activities.
One brother has said he remembers mum and dad being a bit hard on me, but that’s it. Of course they didn’t visit me in the mother-and-baby home. My parents wouldn’t have sanctioned that!
The other aspect of this question is that a memoir is crafted. It is not auto-biography. To have two family members floating around in the backround would have diluted the tension in the narrative and to include a small paragraph of explanation at the start of the book would have been an untidy distraction.