I wrote the outline for my first novel, There’s Been A Little Incident on a flight from Dublin to London where I was living at the time. I had been circling the themes of the novel; grief and loneliness- for a long time. But what became clear to me on that flight was that although I wanted to capture the raw brutality of grief- I was actually more interested in what comes next; in how you manage to live with the pain- and the surprising places that resilience and support can come from.
There’s Been A Little Incident follows Molly Black who has been on the run for 10 years. She has run from boyfriends she accidentally acquired, from religions she accidently joined, from laws she accidentally broke, but mainly, she has been running from her grief. Molly has a wonderful extended family but- having lost both her parents in her teens- she’s not sure who she belongs to now.
In my own experience of grief- I lost my mother 10 years ago- it wasn’t the big things that hurt most. It wasn’t anniversaries or birthdays but the small things; the way my mum knew I wore odd socks and so actively paired them oddly, the way she’d know instantly what meal I’d choose in a restaurant or what film I’d find funny and why. In many ways it’s these small things that haunt Molly most and keep her on the move, trying to outrun the loneliness that engulfs her when she stands still.
Molly’s transient ways often land her in questionable situations, but things take a serious turn on a rainy night in Islington when Molly is the last person to see a young missing nurse- Sheena Griffith- alive. The police are desperate to know what she saw- but before she can help, Molly is on the run again. After years of disappearing, now that she is actually needed, the question is; will Molly finally find a way to stop running.
– Alice Ryan
You can find her novel here.