Domestic abuse will be in the spotlight at Nowra library next week.
Author Steve Matthews will launch his first adult fiction novel, 'The Skinny Girl', on Wednesday, April 24 at 5.30pm.
It is a story of domestic abuse -- the silent kind that often gets ignored because there is no physical evidence.
All the proceeds from the book, sales and royalties, in perpetuity will be donated to charity - 50 per cent to The Homicide Victims Support Group and the remainder to other domestic violence charities.
The story took Steve six years to write and is based on actual domestic abuse.
The research took a number of years and included interviews with women who have lived it and survived. One woman even lent Steve her diaries which were compiled during her marriage and detailed her emotional journey.
The book has been fictionalised to protect the women who contributed to the research.
Although 'The Skinny Girl' is about the struggle of domestic abuse, it is as much to do with one woman's emotional strength, courage and empowerment. It shows readers the 'red flags' that are missed by the character 'Daisy', because she is 'in it', and it also shows the emotional struggle that goes on behind closed doors.
'The Skinny Girl' was officially launched by the NSW Minister of Police, Mr Troy Grant in December 2018.
More than $10,000 has already been donated to WDVCAS in Wagga, Turning Point and Mother Hubbard's cupboard in Camden.
About 'The Skinny Girl'
Featuring shy, petite Daisy Croucher, this suspenseful tale highlighting domestic violence chronicles how Daisy lives in other people's shadows and is practically invisible, even in her own family.
No wonder Daisy is surprised and flattered when, hounded into meeting her officemates for a drink after work one night, popular pub local Jeff Singleton looks her way. "Skinny Minnie," he dubs her.
Jeff has always lived by a golden rule when it comes to women-never keep one for more than thirty days.
For some reason, Daisy is an exception.
Jeff's a bit rough and more than a little uncouth, but Daisy overlooks his flaws. He's interested in her, after all. Life with him might be a roller-coaster ride, but once they're married, things will smooth out and they'll build a life together.
Unfortunately, Daisy soon discovers otherwise.
Her marriage holds awful secrets that she can't imagine revealing or escaping, especially once her two precious daughters are born.
Offering insight into how place and culture contribute to domestic violence, how some women are set up to accept physical and emotional abuse without recognizing it for what it is, and why those who are abused often find it so hard to leave their relationships, the novel highlights red flags that foreshadow the potential for abuse.
"Many people assume that victims of domestic violence and abuse are identified by their black eyes or broken arms. The Skinny Girl allows readers to walk a mile in Daisy's shoes," Matthew said.
"The question is, can she step out of the shadows, value herself, and shine?"
About the author
Steve Matthews was born in the UK in 1953 and migrated to Australia in 1985.
At age 55, he sold his business interests to fulfill a lifetime's ambition to write. Since then, Steve's acclaimed children's books have been published in Australia, the UK, Canada, and the U.S. with his work in children's literacy at home and abroad acknowledged in the Australian Parliament.
The Skinny Girl is Steve's first adult fiction novel.
He now writes full time from a 90-year-old cottage on the grounds of a beautiful farm he shares with his wife Diane, and a variety of animals outside Sydney.
Domestic Violence Line - 1800 656 463
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