Book: Lost Connection by Allan Neilcategories: Book, Slums, Thief, Pimp, Prostitution, Salvation, Orphan, Australia, Tasmania, Child Abuse
Allan Neilabout this book: In 1953, when I was just 14 years of age and was walking through a park in Edinburgh I came across a distressed young girl, who transpired to be 12 years old. Worried, I sat down beside her and she poured her story out to me - a total stranger. She was being abused by her mother's boyfriend, a thief who was also her pimp; Mum was 'on the game'.
Coming from a secure, if impoverished working class background (my father was a Kirk Elder and a disabled ex-miner) the girl's situation was totally alien to me. However, I walked her to the edge of the slum area of the City wherein she lived and arranged to meet her again next day, when I might get some idea of how to deal with her situation. She did not turn up and I never saw her again. This incident bothered me off and on for the rest of my life and in 2011, when I was writing short articles I decided to see if I could weave it into a story which would include what was happening to her before I met her and what I could turn into a story about the rest of her life.
'Lost Connection' was the result. Her name was Anna, which is what I call her in the book. The hero, Robbie, is a boy from a similar background to mine. They become friends for a brief, but important time before they are cruelly torn apart and their efforts to find each other are the story lines of the book. I hope the tale also describes how there can be a route out of hopelessness...with a little bit of luck.
The front cover is the Edinburgh skyline, which has not changed much since then. You'll have to read the book to understand the symbolism of the rear cover.
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
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