At the age of nine, Gabrielle Carey fell in love with her favourite author. She wasn’t alone. Hundreds of thousands of other young readers also fell in love with Ivan Southall and many wrote him adoring fan mail. But Ivan Southall—warm and tender in his letters to children—is not, she finds, so loveable in real life. In fact, he is not the man that Gabrielle remembered at all.
Part memoir, part literary biography, this intimate book explores what happens when we reach back in time to recover our first loves. What will we find when we stop believing in the ideas and the people that made us who we are? What’s left over?