Divorce was almost a thing to be whispered about: her parents are divorced, as if it would explain any oddities I had.
“During the week, I lived with my mum,” remembers Samantha Hayes, author of What You Left Behind.
“She was an artist, of the archetypal starving and bohemian kind, but had left art college to marry my dad and have kids. After the divorce, she went back to painting, but making a living was really tough. The family home had been sold, and the little cottage my mum bought was very basic and tumble-down, although she had grand plans to renovate it when she made some money. But despite her best efforts, the money never came. For the rest of my childhood we lived with a leaky roof, concrete floors, no heating, and we sometimes struggled to afford food.”