What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. ~ TS Eliot, Four Quartets
It is never the big things, Ben. Never the catastrophes that set us on our way. The catastrophe is how we end it. Our beginnings are a different thing entirely.
There is death at the beginning of Loved. But in this work of literary fiction, the mystery is not who died, or why – it is how we survive when we lose what we love.
When Sydney businessman Benjamin ‘Mack’ Mackintosh is murdered protecting Lucy Mason from her violent ex-partner, he leaves behind Anna, his devoted, pregnant wife. And a secret, seven-year affair with his co-worker, Maggie Valentine.
As Maggie, Anna, and Lucy share their experiences in the year after the murder, each woman reveals a different perspective of the same events. The novel begins with Maggie, grieving in secret, only able to guess at what she meant to her dead lover. Separated from Mack’s friends and family, Maggie soon reaches out to Lucy, the last woman to see him alive.
For Anna, grief is complicated by what she knew about her husband’s secret life. She too reaches out to Lucy, hoping to remember Benjamin as a hero, not as the man who broke her heart.
Struggling with grief for someone she never knew, Lucy welcomes contact from both women. As she learns the truth about Benjamin in unexpected ways, Lucy also begins to heal from her own violent past. Tying together the threads between the three women, Lucy discovers that Benjamin’s death might free them all from their past mistakes.
Loved is a novel about memory, connection, and those tipping points that change our lives. Exploring infidelity, violence, love and friendship, the story looks at how we get to our darkest moments, how we live through them – and what we find on the other side.
The novel is complete at 82,000 words.