A novella that explores stillbirth and its consequences, the breakdown of a marriage, and the desperate nature of love beyond death.
Lucy Owen is pregnant again after miscarrying several times, and she and her husband Alex, are very much looking forward to the birth. When Lucy and Alex's much wanted son, Jonathan, is finally delivered - stillborn - they are each launched into their own personal hells.
Hospitalised with psychosis, Lucy copes by pretending it hasn't happened. She lies about her condition, pretending to cooperate, and is sent home. She withdraws from Alex and their marriage, continuing to imagine and live in a world where a ghostly Jonathan never died, where he thrives and grows into a precocious, perfect child, and where an odd friendship with a strange creature called Verity emerges, ultimately to be betrayed. Alex, a lecturer, begins an affair with a younger woman, one of his students, and finds himself repeating his mistakes, with fatal consequences. A novella about how people and relationships crack beneath the intense strain of grief, Dead Babies follows a marriage through breakdown, betrayal and insanity.
Dead Babies was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press novella prize in 2007, and was the original special project for my BA in Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire.