Helen Lyne

writer, spoken word poet

Novels

For You, Anything!

(Yet to be published)

1974.
Melbourne.
Winter.
Night time.

A young woman stumbles into a phone box. She jams her suitcase against the door. She doesn’t know if the phone’s been vandalised. She doesn’t know if she has enough coins. Her face is smashed. A white car is circling. It might be just a curb crawler. It might be her violent husband.

Two years earlier, Clair Gardner, had been a university student, well-read in Russian literature, but inexperienced in life. Flattered by the attentions of a professor twenty years her senior, she sees herself as being in love. His kindness during the traumatic aftermath of her father’s death precipitates her into marriage.

Jealous and possessive, her husband makes unfounded accusations until the tension between them explodes and Clair flees. Homeless, penniless and physically and emotionally battered, she sets about rebuilding her life. She has affairs but feels incapable of commitment. And then, at the age of fifty-six, she meets a man fifteen years her junior.

Click here to read the first chapter.

Tales Out of School

(First draft completed)

Yvette Lord, principal of a private secondary girls’ school, in Sydney, Australia, is about to retire. The time is right. Teachers, parents and students are likely to say, “So soon!”, rather than, “About time!”

The people in Yvette’s life are all associated with school – teachers, the excellent and the incompetent ones; students, the aggressive and the self-doubting ones and the ones in love with their teachers. There are parents who try to bully Yvette into favouring their daughter. There are board members who have faith in her and those who can’t wait to replace her with a business-model CEO. She’s dreading the last walk down the school driveway into …. Into what?  She has no idea.

Farewell events are organised, her successor is chosen and the school gears up to enter a new era. Suddenly, the process comes to a halt. The Board asks Yvette to postpone her retirement. She’s both exultant and apprehensive. She knows she can cope, but does she still want to?