Helen lives in Worcester with her husband, two teenaged children and two rescue cats. Her first poetry collection was nominated for the Forward Best First Collection Prize. She has published three other poetry collections and her short fiction has appeared in magazines including Ambit, Feminist Review and Stand. She holds a BA (Hons) in Humanities.
Helen tweets @Jemima_Mae_7
Helen's favourite novel is Dracula by Bram Stoker, and her favourite novella is Reunion by Fred Uhlman. Her top poet is Sylvia Plath.
The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson
“The mysteries of storytelling reveal their many layers - this sophisticated and unsettling debut had me hooked from beginning to end”
Isabel Costello, Literary Sofa
Signed copies available here.
Also available in Blackwells, Oxford...
Page 100 of The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson...
I flicked his wrist with a magazine. ‘You’re certainly not coming if you’re going to gloat. And I don’t want you gossiping about them, either.’
‘I wouldn’t, I promise, but you must let me come!’
‘Maybe. I’ll think about it. But only if you swear to behave.’
That evening, Simon insisted on cooking dinner.
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘No reason. Does there have to be one? I like cooking. Call it a general thank-you for letting me stay and being so considerate and everything.’
‘I’m not aware I have been, particularly.’ ‘You’ve made me feel welcome. You don’t mind the racket of my typing. You don’t want to know every detail about my life.’
‘Maybe I do, I just haven’t asked.’
‘Comes to the same thing. I think you would ask if there was something you especially wanted to know.’
That wasn’t true. I’d brushed aside as irrelevant, as none of my business, the things I most wanted to know: what sort of girls did he fancy? Did his friends and family wonder where he was? What did he really want from me?
He nipped out to buy the extra ingredients he needed to make his meal, refusing to let me see the contents of the carrier bag when he returned.
‘No fun unless it’s a surprise,’ he said with a grin. So I let him get on with it, torn between expecting burnt offerings or something worthy of MasterChef.
‘Go and change into something spectacular,’ he called out. Spectacular? I had a couple of good dresses I’d bought in the days when I was described as a “breakthrough fresh voice"...