An impressive, touching and heartbreaking story, based on true events and characters. Set in Manchester, this is Beth’s life story, a young woman who, despite seeing the dark side of life, manages to keep an undaunted spirit whilst staying true to herself.
Beth Murray was a prostitute who worked on the streets of Manchester, the UK back in the early noughties, a destiny that seemed to have been written from a very early age.
When she was a mere seven years old her beloved father passed away, a tragic event that would quickly and adversely change Beth’s whole life. Her mother Karen, devastated by the loss of her husband, became tormented by depression and developed a spurious yearning to replace the love that had been taken away from her so abruptly. Thus, less than a year later, Karen married Ray and gained a new husband whilst an 8-year-old Beth gained a step-father. Unfortunately, Ray’s only display of support and love towards his newly acquired step-daughter was to abuse her on a regular basis.
When his abominable behaviour was eventually discovered, a cowardly Ray committed suicide before his case even got to trial. This resulted in Karen not only brandishing Beth a liar and blaming her for Ray’s death but later abandoning her duties as a mother completely and leaving Beth to the devices of the social services … Beth was 11yrs old when she first went into care.
By the time she was just seventeen years old, Beth was working as a prostitute, lured onto the dark side of life by the beguilement and unscrupulous cunning of a hapless drug dealer-turned-user, Darren Taylor.
At twenty-three years of age, Beth had little to look forward to in her life, sitting in a deep rut that to her, seemed positively inescapable. Despite that sense of dire inevitability, however, Beth always held on to the belief that things would get better, that one day there might just be a fairy tale outcome to her miserable existence. An impossible fantasy perhaps but whilst she had been stripped of many hopes and dreams throughout her life, this was one dream that nobody could take from her.
Douglas Mann was a respectable head teacher and family man living in a respectable superb of Manchester. For all intents and purposes, he had it all. But the truth of the matter was, Douglas was incredibly bored with his lot.
Spurred on by a dubious seed of alternative excitement sown by a close friend, Douglas found himself parked on a particular back street of Manchester that, after dark, played host to an array of sex workers, drug dealers and other shady miscreants of society. It was here that he first saw Beth. It was here that Beth first approached Douglas’ car and asked if he was
looking for business and it was here that the merciless collapse of Douglas’ respectable status began.
As a result of that one evening of inexplicable madness, that one decision to search for something a little more thrilling than his own version of a rut, Douglas lost his liberty (arrested for kerb-crawling) his driving licence (charged with drink driving the same night) his marriage, his family and his job. In short, Douglas Mann lost everything and found himself exposed to a harsh reality that he only believed existed in fictional TV dramas.
Now, some might say that the man got exactly what he deserved whilst others might view it as an overly severe consequence to a stupid mistake. But regardless of public opinion, the one thing that nobody could ever have predicted, was the unimaginable relationship that subsequently formed between Douglas and Beth after that first encounter.
Understandably, one might question the morality of any such relationship (he being twice her age, she being a prostitute) or one might wonder perhaps if such an incredulous event could or actually did take place?
For the first part, I offer no particular opinion but for the second, I can categorically state that the story of Beth and Douglas is true. However, in my eyes the question here is not so much about morality or truth of the matter, the pertinent question in this fact-based scenario should be: Did Beth Murray, having borne such an insufferable life, eventually find the fairy tale ending that she so longed for?
If you want to know the answer to that question, read Nobody Heard Me Cry and find out for yourself.
Praise for ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’
“Fantastic book. The reader is not just drawn into the stories of the characters, but more dragged down every backstreet of Manchester alongside them, feeling each moment of joy and pain. Dark, funny and brilliantly written!”
“P.A. Davies harrowing novel deals with the fascinating topic of how you are influenced by what you experienced growing up and how it takes a strong character not to copy the (sometimes only) examples they know but follow their independent moral compass… it shows the skill of the author that he does not just portray the ‘bad guy/woman’, but also gives us insight into how they became who they are… The ending is so poignant, it is simply beautiful and makes you close the book with a wistful smile.”
“It’s not a pretty story, that much is true but it delves deeply into the darker side of human nature and even has you empathising – at times – with some of the nastiest characters. In fact it actually shows some of life’s worst characters from a different perspective by telling their back stories which helps you to understand – but not condone – their behaviour… Every single chapter leaves you wanting to know more.. P.A. Davies is a skilled, descriptive writer”
Want to find out more about ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’? Click here to read the first chapters