Where is the Key?
Publication date: June 2011
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
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Description This book follows on from when the story of my childhood, told in 'Child of the Thirties,' ended. I begin this memoir in the summer holidays after I left school in 1945; free time in those days is very different from free time today! My mother was still in a psychiatric hospital. I have tried to contract the events of over sixty years into a single book, giving a personal view of some the many changes that have occurred in society, together with some incidents in my personal life. I discuss a number of issues concerning the changes in care of the mentally ill. There are many contrasts made between aspects of life during the past sixty years with expectations and aspirations of today. Constancy is a theme that occurs throughout the book. The constancy of my father's concern for my mother; his regular visiting, and unsuccessful attempt to have her living at home again; his lonely life was impressed upon me as I wrote. In 1959 I met m mother again, and saw her for the first time in twenty years. From then on I kept in constant touch my mother, visiting her regularly until she died in 1992 About the Author Sheila Brook was born in 1931 and lived in Middlesex for many years. Long periods of her early childhood were spent living in other people's homes owing to her mother's recurrent episodes of mental illness. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War her mother was again admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Twenty years passed before she and her mother met again. Sheila has lived in Hertfordshire for over forty years, and when her children were older she began a new career as a primary school teacher. Severe, long-standing, facial neuralgia forced her to take early retirement after some years of teaching, and the satisfaction she had in her chosen career made this hard to bear. Her first book, 'Child of the Thirties', covered the first fourteen years of her life, and her story now continues in 'Where is the Key', as she describes many of the changes that have occurred in her own life and in society in general through the second half of the twentieth century. Sheila has suffered from various forms of severe neuralgic pain but has managed to maintain an active life, playing tennis until she had turned seventy, and then enjoying a weekly Keep Fit class. She is an avid reader when time permits and loves her garden. She used to enjoy cooking, but finds this less satisfying since her husband's death in 2007. She enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles when time permits, but her writing has taken up all her spare time in recent years. The constant pain she suffers, made worse when sitting down, and also her acute sensitivity to loud noise now limit her involvement in many social activities. Sheila wrote her first book in her maiden name of Brook as a tribute to her late parents. Her mother features with affection in her second book. As she continued her story she appreciated how much anxiety and sorrow her father had suffered, and how mental illness had deprived her mother of her home, her family and her freedom.