Billy is the light of Polly's life - it's for her son's sake that she puts up with an unkind mother-in-law and life on an isolated farm. Then Billy is knocked down by a car, his father killed attempting to save his life and Polly, cast off by her husband's family, is left with a child who may never walk or talk again.
Polly's own family, the Kershaws, provide all the support they can, but they are unable to outmanoeuvre the malicious Dr Browning-Baker, who is determined to have Billy taken away from the young mother who has dared to defy the doctor. This would deprive Billy of the exercises and stimulation that are his only hope.
Forced to flee to the Fylde coast, Polly and Billy find shelter with another damaged family - an ex-Army captain whose First World War marriage was a terrible mistake, and his daughter, who has never recovered from the hostility of the mother she loves. But danger threatens the fragile happiness they build there.
This is how Our Polly's cover was developed. The artist (Nigel Chamberlain) was given information about the story, then drew the rough concept sketch shown here. From this, he developed a painting in full colour.
The publisher's art department then puts the necessary information on the cover, including the blurb, and information about the author and her other works. For hardbacks there is usually a photo of the author and a bio, ie a mini-biography.
This story was partly inspired by my father, Derrick Sheridan, who as a Director of Social Services in a northern town found women who'd been locked away in mental institutions for decades, because they'd had illegitimate children. It was all too easy for their families to shut away the disgrace than deal with it. The same attitude applied to mentally handicapped children in those days. My father also started one of the first youth clubs for such children. I'm very proud of what he did.
Our Polly was first published by Hodder & Stoughton and came out in hardback, paperback, large print, audio and now ebook formats.
Buy from Amazon UK or The Book Depository which doesn't charge postage to most parts of the world.