Saturday, July 09, 2016

'The Urchin continues . . .

The Urchin’s Progress is an everyman epic chronicling the changing fortunes of Miles Rouse over 50 years as he travels from fatherless urchin to fulfilled father. In three volumes, it traces a life haunted by both the father’s absence and the urchin abandoned by that same father.

Kindle editions available here & here
Paperback here

Across a Wasteland (Volume 1 – August 1950 – July 1977), set across the changing sociological landscape of Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, tracks the flight of Miles from his stricken childhood and his search for the truth of his father’s disappearance.
As he attempts to escape the haunting – whether by way of crazy relationships or the ambitious Studs Terkel-like collection of interviews and essays he’s engaged on, titled Torture Road  Miles discovers the urchin he believed he’d left behind is ever undermining the present and pulling him back to desolation.

Kindle editions available here & here
Paperback here

The Devil and the Deep Blue (Volume 2 – October 1978 – July 1993) continues the story as Miles sets out on the building of a dream - ditching his great opus, Torture Road, marrying, and moving unbelievably into fatherhood himself – only to find that even the bliss of home is subverted and overturned by that same haunting call of the urchin still awaiting his father’s return: home for Miles may only ever be the bleak hinterland of his childhood from which there is no escape.
Endeavouring to quiet the urchin’s calls, Miles pursues a lead to someone who has dogged him since childhood whom he suspects is implicated in his father’s disappearance. When the lead casts doubt on his paternity he hesitates in following up – only to find himself back with the wailing urchin.
Normality it seems is to be in that state of painful wanting – but if this drives Miles to abandon even his marriage, can he really also let go the children he so needs to father?
A story reflecting the ever-present self-destruction that so frequently surfaces through the lives of those raised on an emotional wasteland.

Kindle editions available here & here
Paperback here

Sparks across the Stubble (Volume 3 – July 1993 – September 2004) continues the story as Miles, now age 50, fathers his two boys alone; living as his own all their successes and failures, and with the sense that as he nourishes them so he nourishes the urchin he once was.

The wasteland may not yet have become a blooming desert but as his children grow so the haunting recedes and he picks up again on the opus, Torture Road.

Sudden news of the death of an unknown family relative sees him impelled to track down a distant cousin through whom the truth of his father’s disappearance is finally revealed.

And as his own children set forth into the world so Miles, integrated as one with the urchin now, acknowledges the haunting is perhaps over.

A story reflecting the inherent healing power children can offer enabling old hauntings to recede and old graves to be visited.