Fictional stories about domestic abuse always capture the public conscience. Why not? It happens so often in reality, imaginary versions should cause neither alarm or surprise but instead give us deeper insight into what happens once the blinds are down next door.
So while it was probably no coincidence that I read Helen Laycock’s tale From This Day Forward as a similar storyline in the BBC Radio 4’s The Archers reached a near fatal climax, I was amazed to learn that the soap opera’s plot has caused a massive, continuing row. Is it the intimate immediacy of radio drama that’s behind it?
Not all the stories work for me as their characters are self-absorbed and their lives read as flimsy cliches. But others, including ‘Til Death Do Us Part and My Name is Not Simon are exceptionally good.
Then comes Charming Viola.
Well, the author does advise us to ‘sleep tight’.
What? After reading that …?
© Natalie Wood (08 April 2016)