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Innocence Lost  -  Vivienne Dockerty



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Innocence Lost
by Vivienne Dockerty

UK price: £9.00     US price: $17.95
Format: Paperback
Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 268
ISBN: 0-595-51038-8
Published: Mar-2008


A challenging childhood

Book Description

Growing up in the Dockerty household in the austere years after World War Two, with a father who reigned supreme as head of the household and a mother who was duty bound, didn’t bode well for a middle child that was defiant and rebellious. My childhood molded me into the teenager I became, looking for love in the wrong quarters, facing challenges through situations brought upon me and the choices I made that affected my life in my adult years. Although most of the places exist in my story, the names of the characters have been changed

About the author

Vivienne was born on the Wirral in 1947 where she lived for 23 years. A career in the Civil Service ended when she married the hero of her book Innocence Lost. Since then she has worked in market research, owned a small foreign language school and a bridal shop before she retired.

Vivienne has been writing stories for over twenty years and her ambition in life is to get all her manuscripts published!

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Read a sample from the book:

I looked at my boyfriend who was beginning to drink his third pint of Black and Tan and didn't like what I saw. Earlier, before we had visited the pub' on the rough council estate where Harry was living, he had taken me to meet his mother who was getting ready to go to work. She was a nurse at the local geriatric hospital, doing the night shift because it paid so well. She looked old for her age, her face was creased with worry and I thought that thirty years on, I might end up looking like that. Harry's brother and sister were ignorant people, who had looked me over then turned back to the television. His mother had been distant to the point of rudeness and Harry had been embarrassed at her lack of sensitivity.
    That was why we were sitting in the pub, because Harry had said they wouldn't get any privacy at his house. He'd have to wait to invite me back there when he knew we could be alone.
    I sighed. What was I going to do about the situation? Maybe I could run away to Scotland when I'd had got some money saved?
    My job at the Kardomah was still very pleasant. I had made friends with another cashier called Joanna. She was pretty in a doll like sort of way and liked to spend her lunch times walking around the clothing shops.
    We never managed to have lunch together though, because we had to cover each other's breaks, but sometimes our shifts would finish at the same time, if one of us was working an hour's overtime.
    Joanna was only working at the Kardomah until her papers came through to join the Navy. She had applied six months earlier, but she couldn't begin her training until she was seventeen and a half. I was so envious and toyed with the idea of applying to the Navy also, but Joanna put a dampener on it when she told me I would have to learn to swim. I was fearful of water and had been ever since my swimming lessons in the icy baths near my school.
    When Harry was on the late shift at work and if Joanna's and my finish time coincided, we would go to the pictures together or make up a foursome with any fellows who asked us out on date. One of the dates was with a couple of handsome Swedish sailors who had called in for a coffee on a cold and rainy day. Their ship was docked in Liverpool while the cargo it was carrying got unloaded, then something else was loaded on to be taken to Gothenburg. The sailors spoke good English and we girls were totally smitten by them.
    That was when I decided that I was having the time of my life! Why should I give all this excitement up and settle for Harry? He didn't take me dancing, never treated me to the pictures anymore, because he was saving up to marry me and going to the pub' was all he could afford.
    Now he was trying to get a deposit together so that he could move into a bedsit'. His mother had been nagging him to give up going out with such a young and innocent girl.
    Innocent wasn't a word that would describe me any more. If Harry had known about the dates I was having behind his back, then he would have chucked me over there and then!
    He managed to find a bedsit' in a large Victorian dwelling that had been converted into two self contained units on the first floor, while the landlady lived downstairs. He proudly invited me to come and see his little love nest. It would do for now, but he was going to save even harder so he could put a deposit on a house.
    It was a Saturday afternoon when I knocked on the door of Number 26, Glasgow Terrace. A woman answered and announced she was Mrs. Johnson, the owner of the flats.
    “I've come to see Harry, I'm his girlfriend,” I said confidently.
    “I thought I'd made it clear to your young man that I don't allow women in the bed sitting rooms.”
    “Well, I'm only staying for a minute or so, he wants to show me around, but then we'll probably be going out for a mooch round town.”
    “And who am I speaking to, I can't let just anybody in?” she asked suspiciously.
    “My name is Vivienne Dockerty and I live with my parents near Heswall. Harry and I have been friends for a long time now so it's not as if you're just letting anyone in, is it?”
    The woman stood aside to let me pass and pointed to the steep stairs behind her.
    “His room's up the stairs and first on the right.”
    I ran up the stairs two at a time, thinking what an old battle axe the landlady was.
    “Viv', come in,” Harry said, delighted to see me. “I'm just making a cup of tea on this Baby Belling so I'll make you one as well, shall I? You'll notice that I've got the place furnished though it's not much to look at I'm afraid.”
    I looked around at the dingy furnishing in the rectangular shaped room. The brown velvet curtains at the tall bay window, the high yellowy ceiling with the paint flaking off, an old green moquette sofa and a creaky looking table, with a couple of plastic chairs painted in a horrid lime green. The floor was bare, except for a large Persian rug that had seen better days and at the back of the room under a soot marked sash window was a double bed, with a grubby bed cover thrown over it.
    That was where Harry was leading me to and asking me to sit.
    “We'll leave the tea 'til later shall we and make ourselves comfortable on here, then we'll get ourselves down to some serious loving, because it's just been fumbling when we've been alone at home.”
    “But I've just met the formidable Mrs. Johnson and she said she doesn't allow young women in her bedsits.”
    “Oh well, she'll have to get used to it, I've paid the rent until the end of next month. Come on, Vivienne, that's why I moved out of my mother's house so you and I can be together. Don't tell me I've wasted my time and you're going all frigid on me.”
    “It's not that, Harry, I'm not ready to do things with you in a bed. We're not even engaged yet and I'm not sure that I want to,” I ended desperately.
    “So you don't love me, is that it, Vivienne? I've gone to all this trouble to get this place for us and now I find you don't love me.”
    “But Harry, I've just told you why.”
    “Well if it's an engagement ring you're after we'll go the jewellers this afternoon.”
    So I meekly took my dress off and got under the grubby covers of the distinctly smelly bed.
    I sighed and closed my eyes as Harry took his shirt and trousers off and got in beside me.
    If I thought of something nice, whatever he was planning to do to me would soon be over, so I thought of sitting on Hilbre Island feeling the sun on my face.
    Two weeks later a thunderous looking Father stood waiting for me when I came in from work.
    “Do you know a Mrs. Johnson?” he asked sternly.
    “Er, a Mrs. Johnson, why Dad?”
    “She's your boyfriend's landlady so you should know her.”
    “Oh, that Mrs. Johnson. Why, do you know her as well, Dad?”
    “I do now, she's been on the telephone telling me about what you and lover boy have been up to in his bed. It seems she warned him not to have young women in his flat, but he seems to have gone against her rules.”
    “Bloody old tittle tattle.”
    “What did you just say?”
    “Well, she must have rung up every Dockerty on the telephone in Heswall just to get back at him.”
    “Anyway, he's getting a month's notice. It's her house and her rules and she wants him out.”
    “And what's my punishment?”
    “You, young lady, have been booked into a Clinic in Birkenhead and if I find out you've lost your virginity, I'm going to have you sectioned and put into a Mental Home. You're promiscuous, Vivienne, so I might decide to have you locked up until you're twenty one.”
    I sat down with a clump onto the settee and looked at my Father disbelievingly. This was the 1960's, we weren't living in the Dark Ages anymore.
    “You can't do that!” I shouted when the import of his words began to sink in. “I'm sixteen now, I'm working, old enough to leave home if I wanted to.”
    “That's true, Vivienne, though I can have you made Ward of Court if you don't agree to go to the Clinic.”
    “What does Mum think of all this?” I asked looking for an ally. “Surely she's not willing to let you do this and make a show of me.”
    “Irene get in here where I can see you, I know you're listening by the kitchen door,” my Father said triumphantly.
    My Mother came into the living room. She looked as if she'd been crying and she wouldn't look me in the eye.
    “Are you going to let him send me to the looney bin, Mother? Are you in on this too?”
    “Well, Vivienne, we think it's for your own good,” my Mother said quietly. “You have been a bit naughty lately and if your Father thinks his actions will be for the best in the long run, well I'll go along with him.”
    “And what if I say I won't go to your rotten clinic?”
    “You've no choice in the matter,” Father shouted. “If you're not willing to go in the morning with you're mother I'm going to telephone the Police and have that man you've been seeing hauled up for interfering with an under age girl.”
    “You don't have to do that,” I replied icily. “I take it that you won't be allowing me to work at the Kardomah either if you're intent in putting me in a Mental Home. I'll go to my room now, but before I go let me tell you this, Dad and Mum, I'll never forgive you for as long as I live.”