The Place of Dreams - Introduction
Karen Miles is a successful London book editor, a single mother in her early fifties. She seems to have it all, good income, beautiful London apartment, regular travel, the occasional man, and adult children she is proud of. To the world, she appears in control, confident. Yet she is deeply unhappy, losing interest in her work, and lacking any sort of optimism about her future. As her days become more and more deadening, she acknowledges that this is not life; this is merely existence. She needs more if she is to survive. A derelict house, 'Hafan Deg', in North Wales, an area where she and the children vacationed many years earlier, becomes the catalyst for her transformation. A touching and sometimes irreverent observation of an older woman's journey of reconnection and validation.
Hafan Deg was a real house, although not with that name. My son was at the University of North Wales in Bangor some years ago, and I visited him. From my room at the B & B where I stayed on the south side of the Menai Strait, I could see this ruined house directly across the water. We drove over there and it was, as it is in my novel, derelict.
I haven't been back since, so I have no idea if the house was restored, turned into a hotel or a retirement home. In fact, it may well have been torn down.
The interior descriptions are mine. I leave the reader to mull over what's real, and what's fiction, in the rest of the book.