Norman Macdonald is an award-winning journalist and author, having spent most of his working life in national and local newspapers as a reporter, newsdesk executive and editor. As well as writing books, he now runs a successful public relations consultancy and book publishing company.
Jinxedby Mary Kelly, Norman Macdonald
They say truth is stranger than fiction and if Mary Kelly's story was written as a piece of fiction, no one would believe it. This is the amazing life story of a woman who has triumphed over trauma and tragedy that has followed her every step of the way from childhood to old age. Mary re-lives a childhood during the years of rationing and the Second World War, fearing a violent father who once described her as nothing but a jinx on the family. But it has been Mary who has been jinxed all through her life. She tells how as a punishment for having the audacity to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor, her father cruelly shaved her hair off and made her go to school completely bald. But in the happier times there were summer Sundays camping out on the banks of the River Clyde and the street parties when a soldier, sailor or airman would come home safe from the war. And of course the mother of all street parties to celebrate VE Day in 1945. In her late teens and unmarried, Mary fell pregnant and was banished to the Highlands of Scotland to have her child so the neighbors wouldn't know she was having a baby. To escape the clutches of her father's tyranny, she agreed to marry a man she never really loved. The marriage was always doomed to failure and now with more children to look after, she often lived on the breadline, doing anything she could to give her kids a better life. This led her to becoming a secret topless model and the mistress of one of Scotland's most feared gangsters. Tragedy followed upon tragedy in Mary's life. Her son, Gordon was murdered and two years later, her youngest son, Mark hanged himself. But there have also been unexpected joys. In her often sad, sometimes amusing, but always heart-warming story, Mary Kelly tells how she found the courage to survive everything life threw at her—jinx or no jinx.
- Birlinn, Limited
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