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Dudley author tells his shocking story of family tragedy in new book
11:05am Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
A DUDLEY man has been putting pen to paper to tell the amazing story of a family torn apart by tragedy.
A harrowing new book, called Finding Thomas, tells how his family was devastated by mental illness and his tireless work locate his long-lost brother who was taken into care when he was a baby.
The book starts with author John Fisher's childhood living with his parents in Bluebell Road on the Priory estate the 50s and takes readers through changing times to the present day.
John, aged 58, said: "It's been a long journey going back took a long time and it brought back a lot of sad memories. It is what life was like for a lot of working class families."
The family was shattered by the death of John's seven-week old brother Michael when he was accidentally suffocated by his mother Margaret as he lay in bed with his parents.
Despite the birth of another boy, Stephen, the period after Michael's death was when things began to go terribly wrong.
The family moved into a flat in Hillcrest Road, Kates Hill, but were later evicted and were forced to live in a slum in Pitman Street.
Before the eviction the NSPCC had taken John's new sister Karen, who was born in 1959, into care after Margaret was unable to bond with her.
Tragically Karen was returned to the family and in 1961 Margaret, by now seriously mentally ill and unable to cope, flung her crying infant into a chair - the child was found dead the following morning.
Finding Thomas goes on to describe how John coped with rejection and neglect and the lies and dark secrets he uncovered as he searched for Thomas.
The story tells of many incredible coincidences, including when John learns of two more brothers and a sister he did not know he had plus a tragedy in his adult life reminiscent of his those he suffered as a boy.
Despite his troubled childhood, which eventually resulted in being taken into care as his mother and father's violent relationship worsened, John believes the book is also about a son's unconditional love for his parents.
He said: "They are still my mother and father, my mum had a mental illness, if not for that we would have had a different upbringing."
Finding Thomas is available from major book shops or via www.findingthomas.com
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