“We all have our dark side.” This debut novel, from the new fiction imprint, Karnac Library, is a contemporary tale of betrayal and revenge. Through the lives of two women, Honor and Madalena, compelling issues are explored: rivalry and vengeance; mother-love and sexual jealousies; and the ‘sliding doors’ effect that spins its web around the lives not only of these characters but of all of us. Honor’s Shadow By Voula Grand
Published September 2011 by Karnac Library, the new fiction imprint of Karnac Books. Price £16.99 hardback. 290pp. www.karnacbooks.com
Honor’s Shadow explores betrayal and revenge through women who were rivals for the love of Thomas when they were all young. Now middle-aged, the paths of Honor and Madalena have crossed once more, awakening old feelings, and both women struggle to maintain control as their lives become intertwined.
A series of events (a painful and poignant anniversary, a new psychotherapy client, a newspaper image) have awakened disturbing memories in Honor. Through her work with a strange new client, Tisi, and her memory of a painful betrayal, Honor seeks to use her professional expertise to work out what is driving her own unusual behaviour.
Her efforts to contain the vengeful impulses of Tisi and herself are failing, and she becomes increasingly desperate. A Greek myth introduces her to the Furies, Goddesses of revenge who haunted those who committed crimes against humanity, to madness, death and beyond. This story, and its prescription for consolation, provides a chance to avert disaster and ultimately reveals to Honor the drive behind her own desire for revenge. As the novel echoes the ancient myth, it becomes a tale of redemption and a parable for modern times.
An anonymous letter jolts Madalena’s seemingly secure life of comfort and luxury: somebody thinks they know something about her past that threatens to destroy all that she holds dear in her carefully constructed lifestyle. She is desperate to find out who wrote the letter so she can stop their destructive actions.
The author, Voula Grand, is a practising psychologist who works as a top level executive coach. In this, her gripping debut novel, the imaginative tale unfolds with well-rounded, utterly believable - and not always likeable - characters. Fast-moving though the plot action is, Honor’s Shadow often gives pause for thought and, like all good writing, doesn’t just illuminate the story but one’s own reality. The novel explores profound topics: infidelity, personal memory; the nature of parenthood; vengeance; loss of control; and the big question of whether forgiveness can ever lead one to forget.
Honor’s Shadow is the first of a trilogy – Honor’s Dilemmas. Honor’s Ghost and Honor’s Spirit will be published soon.
Voula Grand was born and raised in South Wales and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband. She is mother and stepmother to five adult sons and daughters. Educated at London School of Economics (BSc(Hons) in Psychology) and at Birkbeck College, London University, (MA in Creative Writing), she is a business psychologist and founder of Grand Shearman Consulting Ltd through which she works as a coaching psychologist for business executives and leadership teams www.grandshearman.com .
Visit www.voulagrand.com for more about the author and to access the blog which continues the exploration of some of the issues touched on by the book. Hear an interview with the author about Honor’s Shadow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DTToeYs__U
Karnac Publishing is well-established in the field of psychology and psychotherapy publishing with a well-established list of 400 current titles and our own book-shop on London’s Finchley Road. They decided to move into fiction with a new imprint, Karnac Library and opted to select the novels by democratic means. Some of the brightest and best amateur writers’ groups were involved in short-listing manuscripts and then, without the aid of literary editors and agents, these same amateur writers selected the three novels to be published. Honor’s Shadow is the third to be issued.