Barrie Mahoney - BBC Radio Solent Interview with Charlie Crocker

Jul 16, 2011, 04:31 AM

“Journeys and Jigsaws” is the title of the first of a series of novels by Barrie Mahoney. Although not autobiographical, the book draws upon many of the incidents that Barrie experienced as teacher, headteacher, school inspector and journalist.

'Journeys and Jigsaws' follows the early career of a young headteacher, James Young, and his appointment to a village school in crisis. The novel deals with the many challenges and hard won successes faced in increasing pupil numbers and bringing the school back to financial viability, as well as keeping the villagers happy. Glimpses of easy going village school life in the days before the National Curriculum and school tests, include the chaos caused in the village when James decided to remove the school stage, a near riot when the school swimming pool is closed. However, there is support for James from a surprising source when his own personal life hits crisis point.

The novel also deals with entrenched attitudes and misunderstandings relating to HIV/AIDS and public expectation of professional people living and working in a parochial and inward looking community in the 1980’s.

'Journeys and Jigsaws' explores the complex relationships between people who do not fit into society’s expectation of them. Lies, suppressed feelings and desires in a remote, feudal village are exposed, leaving many hurt, betrayed and broken. The book chronicles the attempts of the main characters to achieve self worth and to become part of this backward looking society, despite being different. The book also reflects on how most people are different to each other, and celebrates these challenges.

'Journeys and Jigsaws' by Barrie Mahoney. ISBN: 9781843865384 #BBC #gay