Runner up in SAW Constable Silver Stag Award 2018

Submitted for Saltire Award 2019

ringwood
Ringwood Publishing is a small independent Scottish Publisher, based in Glasgow, dedicated to publishing quality works of Scottish fiction and non-fiction around the key national themes of politics, football, religion, money, sex and crime

How long does it take a body to burn? He has no idea. That’s almost four hours now. He’s turned the furnace up to max but with no viewing window available, it’s hard to know if anything recognisable might remain. His watch says 5.30. Is it safe to leave? Maintenance staff arrive at eight. He must be well away by then….      

… Out of the cobwebbed fire door the main road is quiet. Chilly for May. He’s hungry. Might there still be bacon in the fridge? Or would someone have finished it after the pub last night?

A darkly humorous, thought-provoking story of Scottish medical students in the sixties, a time of changing social and sexual mores.  None of the teenagers starting at Glasgow University in 1967 live the life they imagine.

“There have been many books written about the world of medicine, but Anne Pettigrew brings a fresh voice and moral authority to the subject. Well-written and lively…”

Author Simon Brett, O.B.E., F.R.S.L., 2014 CWA Diamond Dagger winner and judge of the Constable Silver Stag Award in which “Not the Life Imagined” was runner up.

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Everyone needs a doctor sometime and may wonder what they are thinking… Millions watch medical dramas like Casualty or Dr Foster and the list of doctors in award-winning literature is large, yet few characters are female apart from pathologists, historical pioneers and a scattering of Mills and Boon heroines, according to Goodreads. So, I decided to write about what it was like in the man’s world of medicine 50 years ago, trying to portray the nuts and bolts of qualifying as a woman doctor and fighting up the career ladder. As the book took wings, it became apparent that the difficulties faced by men needed aired too, and the fact that doctors are human, just as liable to be defrauded, become ill and even have breakdowns or commit suicide. The narrative themes are topical: how to survive ‘Weinsteins,’ domestic abuse and addiction.  It has something to say about the Scottish psyche, the evolution of sexual predation and the dark side of advancement in many careers, but humour is never far away. Medicine can be fun. I love Dr Beth and hope readers will too. My aim was a book club book, ripe for discussion on the struggles of the ‘goodies’ and the genesis of ‘the baddies’ and on doctors’ motivations and morals. Most of all, however, I wanted it not to take itself too seriously, but to entertain as well as intrigue and inform.

This book is dedicated to the millions of girls world-wide denied any formal education – never mind a university degree- and benefits the work of Plan UK, who aim to correct this.

Find out more at: https://plan-uk.org

Author Simon Brett, O.B.E., F.R.S.L., 2014 CWA Diamond Dagger winner and judge of the Constable Silver Stag Award in which “Not the Life Imagined” was runner up.

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