We are excited to share this exclusive piece from author Ann Ingle introducing readers to her honest and moving new book, Openhearted.
When openhearted was suggested for the title of my memoir I wasn’t sure until I looked it up in the Webster dictionary and read the definition: 1. candid and frank and 2. responsive to emotional appeal. That sounded just right.
I wrote my book of essays during the third lockdown. I wrote it from the heart without thinking of who might read it or if in fact anyone would. I tell the story of my life with my wonderful although continually unreliable husband, Peter and his subsequent mental ill health. He took his own life in 1980 leaving me with eight children. The story is not all sadness although some reviewers have said there were tears. I had a life after Peter and I write about the challenges, the happiness and how I have maintained joy in life throughout my eighty-two years.
Now that it is out there, I hope people will read openhearted and that it will help those who have suffered from the stigma that still remains around mental ill health. I hope it will make you laugh when I unashamedly recall my sexual adventures and my experiences of coming to Ireland in the 1960s. Most of all, I hope it will be appreciated as the words of an elderly woman’s experience of a life well lived.