A generational family story
A first novel my Jennifer M Ryan


shorthand for my current project –  Seeing Me Sweetly. My first novel; a work in progress. It is taking much longer than I could have imagined.

The story is of family issues

A mother and a daughter. Tracing the life of the daughter and revealing the internal turmoil that was the mother’s life. Sounds uninspiring, I hope not. I am endeavouring to tell the stories that are under the skin of these character’s lives; the catalysts to violence and fear that shadowed their home.

What I can Reveal about the SMS story

  • The story opens with Jemma (the daughter) sitting, musing as she watches her family noisily celebrating their relationships. The musing turns sour, and consequences she had kept invisible for 60 years, clarify before her eyes.
  • At the funeral of Anna, the mother, Jemma is consoled by Anna’s best friend with these words spoken with a gentle emotion, something Jemma had waited a lifetime to hear from her mother: she really did love you, you know.  Jemma’s reply: I think I was just too much like Dad, delivered, almost coldly, just before she stood determinedly and walked away –  knowing it was over. She had found resilience in that confirmation.
  • Jemma grew up isolated. In a family that just didn’t fit her needs. It was like living inside a cocoon  created by layers of invisibly dysfunctional habits  hidden by normal school and church routines.
  • Nothing really terrible happens. Terrible for the 1950s that is! Yet, Jemma is traumatised by her life.

Seeing Me Sweetly