Set in the mid-nineties, Surviving Henry is a semi-autobiographical novel about protagonist David Angel who begins working for a charity set up to support adults with a learning difficulty. Written in the ‘first-person’, David tells the harrowing story when he became Henry Crawford’s Key Worker over a four year period. Autistic and in his early thirties, Henry Crawford has an insatiable appetite for violence, having been released from the institution in which he’d spent most of his adult life, to prove that if ‘care in the community’ could work for him, it could work for anyone.
The novel will reveal a candid and sometimes horrific insight into the world of the support worker and Henry’s life as a beneficiary, and will delve uncomfortably into areas that will shock most readers and reveal a truth about care in the community the establishment would rather not talk about.
The caring professionals will identify immediately with some, if not all the trials, tribulations and challenges described in the book and will hopefully give support workers and carers in the UK more deserved recognition for the work that they do.
Informed by diary excerpts kept over the period 1996 to 2000 and from indelibly vivid memories, the novel will follow a real-time chronological route and be a faithful record of events as they happened. Fictionalising the novel will protect anonymity and hopefully allow for a less formal and more mellifluously flowing transcription of the story.