Local composer Fiona Bennett has published her first children’s novel and it is sure to be a hit with animal loving children. Better known for her classical piano skills – she has recently been voted into the Classic FM Hall of Fame Top 300 – Fiona has branched out in another direction and has produced a charmingly readable novel.
Based on her own experience, mother of 2 boys, one of whom is Autistic and 4 ex-racing greyhounds, Fiona has told the story of Simon and his mother, Simone. Simon, diagnosed with Autism and struggling with the day to day complexities of life, is desperate for a dog. His reluctant mother, an asthma sufferer finally relents and Hero comes into their life. Hero’s story is told alongside Simon’s; the common story of failed race-track dog, abandoned with little care for his future.
Fiona has succeeded in highlighting two situations – that of the isolation and complexity of a child with Autism and, in doing so, the effect on family and friends together with the heartless disregard for the outcome of a dog once it has reached the end of its working life. These negatives are woven cleverly throughout the story which still has the ability to raise many a smile.
Fiona and the Retired Greyhound Trust have pooled their resources to publish this book. Half the proceeds will go to the Trust. ANOTHER good reason to pick up a copy.