While working at Woking Borough Council, writer discovers shocking family history through records

While working at Woking Borough Council, Diane Phillips discovered shocking family history through records and writes fascinating new novel based on her findings.After Diane Phillips’s mother passed away she went to work at Woking Borough Council where they house the records office for Surrey. She saw an opportunity to research her maternal family line… only to discover nothing was what she had thought.
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Diane explains, ‘My mother was an orphan, or so she was led to believe. She was told her parents had died in a car crash when she was 2, hence along with her brother and sister were initially fostered and then sent to various orphanages. Over the years and with various moves she lost contact with her family and eventually she moved to Leicester where she married my Dad and they had two girls. She often spoke about her family and wondered what happened to them. Eventually some 50 years later we managed to find my Mum’s family. Her mother had married 3 times: 1. Died in WW1 leaving her with 4 children; 2. (my grandfather) who committed suicide in 1929 leaving her with 5 more children and one on the way 3. No children and he died in the 1960s.My grandmother died in 1977. Apparently she had been told the children were sent to Canada, which was untrue. She lost hope of ever finding them.’

Set in the early twentieth century, Poverty's Pain is a remarkable novel telling the story of Edna Pain, a young woman struggling with survival. The story is based on Diane’s maternal grandmother (plus some embellishments and fiction.) It also includes a fascinating insight into the history of poverty in Surrey.

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Diane adds, ‘ I have started writing the sequel, which tells the remarkable story of my mother’s life. I also have researched my paternal grandmother and have started writing her Edwardian story – another fascinating tale. I also have an idea for a coach party holiday, following a disastrous holiday to Wales! The latter being a different genre – aiming to be more light-hearted and comical.’

Diane Phillips with her new novel, 'Poverty's Pain.'  Picture: submittedDiane Phillips with her new novel, 'Poverty's Pain.'  Picture: submitted
Diane Phillips with her new novel, 'Poverty's Pain.' Picture: submitted

Poverty’s Pain deals with so many issues associated with poverty that even though it is set almost 100 years ago it could easily relate to today. It’s a real page turner and a gripping read.

About the bookSet in the early twentieth century, Poverty's Pain is a remarkable novel telling the story of Edna Pain, a young woman struggling with survival. Her resilience against extreme poverty and the life that comes with it, is exciting yet fascinating, as it engulfs the reader and transports them into Edna's world. This is a place in time where people have become marginalised in society and trapped, not only because of the ravages of war, but also due to the era into which they have been born. This is a tale of romance, intrigue, great emotional catastrophe and is evocative of a time which may have been forgotten but for this novel, when life was not soft and cosy, but harsh and a bit wild: a true haunting novel. The reader will become submerged into Edna's search for hope and happiness. Will she ever find true love? Will she ever be truly happy?

About the authorDiane C. Phillips, born in England's East Midlands, is now living in the West Country. She is a chartered surveyor and currently is employed by a Christian charity. While working in Surrey in southern England, Diane carried out extensive research into family history and she is planning a sequel to Poverty's Pain.

Poverty's Pain (RRP £10.99 ) was published by The Conrad Press and can be ordered from Amazon and all good bookshops. ISBN: 978-1915494962