Peggy Lighterman vows she will never be like her father. His was a life blighted by alcohol addiction and an untimely demise. Hers, one of placid fulfilment in the urban sprawl of Bermondsey. But Peggy’s life is turned upside down by a series of tragic events. A drink to fill the empty void soon escalates into a downward spiral until she meets Dr Theo Hither, a psychiatrist who has witnessed first-hand the trauma of mental illness in his brother and is fiercely protective of those marginalised by society. Help to rebuild her shattered existence breathes hope into a life that she thought had disappeared forever.There are frequent flashbacks to Peggy’s life growing up on a closely knit 1930s London housing estate. Peggy’s mental health is precious, and the power of words could mean the power to change. She is offered the chance to catch her when she falls but how will society finally roll the dice in determining her fate?
Dr Tony Rao is a consultant psychiatrist for older people, who has served the communities of Rotherhithe, Bermondsey and around South East London for over twenty years. Taking this plentiful experience, Tony has written ‘Catch Me When I Fall’ — his first novel, published in November 2019 — and is kindly donating all proceeds from the book to Time & Talents.
The story captures the warmth of family and community, and the difficulty that people can face when they become isolated from this love and support through bereavement, illness, and other changes in circumstances which we can all face in life. In the case of Peggy, the novel’s protagonist, we then find out if anyone is there to ‘catch her’ when she falls. It is a story of the struggles which people face every day, and about how we can help to lift each other up through mutual support and caring.
We are very grateful for Tony’s generosity in donating the proceeds, and to see a story which takes place in the community in which we have worked since our beginnings.
The book is available to buy in paperbook and as a Kindle eBook via Amazon. If you purchase it via Amazon Smile, and select Time & Talents as your chosen charity, you can ensure that we receive a small donation from your purchase, at no extra cost.