The world of dead babies is a silent and shuttered place. You do not know it exists until you find yourself there.
When Alice Jolly's second child was stillborn and all subsequent attempts to have another baby failed, she began to consider every possible option, no matter how unorthodox.
Dead Babies and Seaside Towns is a savagely personal account of the search for an alternative way to create a family. As she battles through miscarriage, IVF and failed adoption attempts, Alice's only solace from the pain is the faded charm of Britain's crumbling seaside towns. Finally, this search leads her and her husband to a small town in Minnesota, and two remarkable women who offer to make the impossible possible.
In this beautiful book, shot through with humour and full of hope, Alice Jolly describes with a novelist's skill events that woman live through every day – even if many feel compelled to keep them hidden. Her decision not to hide but to share them, without a trace of sentiment or self-pity, turns Dead Babies and Seaside Towns into a universal story: one that begins in tragedy but ends in joy.
Welcome to my spot on the Blog Tour for Dead Babies and Seaside Towns by Alice Jolly, published by Unbound in hardback on July 2 2015.
It's an odd title for a book. I could put people off. However this is a book about dead babies, whichever way you look at it. I've often heard people say that they were shocked by a book's content, that they had no idea ..... Alice Jolly has made it clear with her title, the clue is there. Yes, it's a distressing subject, and yes, if you really can't handle it, then don't read it .... but, and it's a HUGE
but, you really should. There's no 'angels with wings in heaven' in this book, it's not mawkish or sentimental. It's honest, harrowing, painful but very very important.
Alice Jolly has opened her heart and exposed her innermost feelings; her sorrows and her joys within the words of Dead Babies and Seaside Towns. You do not have to be a parent to appreciate this book, you do not have to have wanted to be a parent either. Although this is the story of a dead baby, and the long and tortuous journey that Alice and her husband embarked upon to try to complete their family, you only have to be human to understand and to connect with these words.
One could reasonably expect this book to be almost unbearably bleak and grave, and whilst there is no getting away from the sorrow contained within it, it is also filled with hope and ultimately, with joy.
The author skilfully incorporates medical procedure and legal process into her own personal story, giving the reader an insight into how loss is dealt with and perceived by the professionals, and also how the quest to become a parent by other means can be arduous and painful. She includes views from those closest to her as well as her own thoughts and feelings, making this a well-balanced and rounded story that deals with both the negative and the positives.
Alice Jolly considers many issues within her pages, her story is about grief, loss, parenthood, friendship, trust and a love affair with the seaside towns are unique to Britain.
Alice Jolly is a novelist and playwright.
She has published two novels with Simon and Schuster and has been commissioned four times by the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
She has also written for Paines Plough and her work has been performed at The Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden and The Space, East London.
Her memoir ‘Dead Babies and Seaside Towns’ was published by Unbound in July 2015.
In 2014 one of her short stories won The Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize.
She teaches creative writing on the Mst at Oxford University.
More information can be found on her website www.alicejolly.com
Follow her on Twitter @JollyAlice