Lonely, bittersweet women’s fiction novel seeks sympathetic agent with GSOH to share the roller-coaster ride towards getting published.
October 1959 – The birth of our main protagonist, Lisa Grant
“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.”
William Shakespeare, King Lear
The following October, Elizabeth’s water’s finally broke in front of the Aga in the kitchen. She was way over her due date and, Thomas’s wife, Anna, had rung a few times during the proceeding weeks, asking if she was okay and offering to chat about things. Elizabeth had declined, her sense of bravado giving everybody the impression that she knew exactly what to expect.
As Nellie (the housekeeper) called the midwife, she knew from the glazed expression on Elizabeth’s face that she hadn’t got a clue what was about to happen. Standing with her hands clawed to the drying rail of the Aga with her knees slightly bent, looking down aghast at the puddle she was standing in, the dispassionate Elizabeth started to cry. Surprised by her display of emotion, Nellie put an arm around her shoulders.
‘There, there, Mrs Grant, it’s been a long do for you, I know, but you’ll be holding your beautiful baby in your arms very soon now.’
‘Baby? What about my beautiful shoes? It’s the first time I’ve worn them.’
By the time Nellie half pushed Elizabeth upstairs to her bedroom, the midwife arrived. As her contractions intensified Elizabeth became hysterical, so the midwife called the duty doctor to calm her.
‘I… just… want…you… to get this… thing out of me!’
‘Don’t worry, Elizabeth, your baby’s doing very well. He or she is about to make their presence known.’
As Elizabeth’s screams echoed around the Churn Valley, she kicked the G.P. on the nose as he excitedly reported that the baby’s head was crowning. He was still mopping up the blood oozing from his nostrils as she pushed one last time and Lisa Elizabeth Grant shot out of her mother’s vagina coated in a mix of amniotic fluid, blood and vernix, her cries drowned out by Elizabeth’s blood-curdling screams.
‘That’s the last time I’m ever bloody well going through all this! Do you hear me, Fergus Grant? You can keep your bloody trousers on in future!’ Fergus heard as he ran down the path from the farm to the house, as did all the neighbours living within a five-mile radius and, given his relationship with Elizabeth, Lisa would remain an only child.