A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Sky shows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.
If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career.
A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.
Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them – or to whom they belong – as long as they help him rise to the top.
Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse.
As a child Saoirse Corcoran was rejected. As an adult she is sought out by strangers. The reason for both is the same – her power.
Born in the mid-sixties to a mother who desperately wanted to keep her but couldn’t, put in an institutional crib and situation, she is visited by a guiding force who she will come to know in future days, who protects a baby born to survive inhuman treatment in a staunch Catholic society, and to change it with the strength of her life experience.
Saoirse’s mother Maisie, sleeps in a different part of St. Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home, sharing a collective sorrow that will haunt and mark Ireland’s social history. Saoirse is set apart from the beginning – marked with a psychic gift which serves as her greatest ally and strength against coming judgement and condemnation.
When Lil and Joe Corcoran adopt her, she is four months old with and ancient soul. There is the hope of happy ever after. At first, their love is unconditional, but then the deeper aspect of her nature triggers their great fear.
They reject her abilities, forcing her back into another convent, run by St. Agnes, who sees and treats Saoirse as evil. Saoirse holds onto the truth that love is the only property to heal an emotionally enslaved, repressed Ireland.
Her friendships give her hope. Her family become her greatest teachers. The search for her identity centres on her first shared sorrow, separated only by walls, a mother and her child who felt each other’s presence.
On a harrowing journey, Saoirse is drawn to the deepest bond of all which is still a mystery. She moves to re-unite, to find out who Maisie was and finds out more than who her mother was. She discovers what she knew all along, from the moment she was born. Her gift came from somewhere unknown and now returns to claim its source. She learns the name and nature of the presence that guarded her lonely crib.
Sharon Thompson is an Irish writer, living in Donegal. Her debut historical crime novel, ‘The Abandoned’ launched as a #1 Best-seller on Amazon on 25th January.
She has since signed for two more crime novels with publisher, Bloodhound Books UK. She co-founded #WritersWise trending tweet-chat and her details can be found on www.sharontwriter.com