Gillian Fernandez Morton grew up in post-war Portsmouth in a family steeped in amateur dramatics. She lacked confidence, and would often be watching rehearsals and performances from the back of a darkened hall. The good thing, she says, is that by 12 years old she had seen almost all of Shakespeare’s plays. She is no longer shy.
After completing a social science degree, Gillian stepped sideways into Education where her curiosity about children who were failing in school drew her to therapeutic training. She has published and contributed to conferences nationally and internationally.
Gillian lives in North London, and is a keen walker and swing dancer.
Bombweed is Gillian’s first novel. It is based on an unpublished story written in 1947 by her mother in the aftermath of the Second World War. Assisted by her sister Maureen, she has turned their mother’s extensive, rambling, narrative into an engrossing story of love and loss, and sibling rivalry, in wartime Britain.
Vivienne, a naive teenager in 1938, has to grow up in a world at war. Her family is shattered, like the buildings in her town, by the Luftwaffe. Vivienne and her sisters each seek ways to deal with devastating loss. Memories are destroyed, blotted out with drink and sex, or clung to obsessively. Houses can be repaired when peace comes, but the heart is a trickier matter. Vivienne knows that to recover, she must reach into the dark past.