Serious theme alongside a life-long love of sitcoms
Yapton lawyer and author David Bathurst looks at domestic abuse in his latest novel while also indulging his love of sitcoms.
Laughing Stock has been released through Publish Nation at £1.99 ebook and £8.99 paperback and is available through Amazon.
David, aged 61, said: “I am a lawyer who during my career has come across many cases of domestic abuse. I have always thought this the worst kind of abuse, as the victim is most vulnerable in the one place where s/he should feel safest – their home.
“I knew that there were more male than female perpetrators, but was shocked to learn that it’s estimated that one in six men have suffered domestic abuse.
“I wanted to write about a man living with domestic abuse and the issues and difficulties he faced, first in acknowledging it was happening to him and then in getting out of the relationship and learning how to make his way in the world, to avoid becoming an abuse victim again, and to be able to trust people while at the same time being wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“However that is only part of the reason for writing the book.
“I have always loved classic British sitcom, from Fawlty Towers to Keeping Up Appearances, and wanted to indulge my love of this genre by providing a snapshot of the very best sitcom across the decades.
“I therefore decided to make my central character a lover and connoisseur of the genre, enabling him, and the reader, to relive some of the best and most memorable sitcom moments and events of the past 50-60 years.
“I therefore feel I have a book that has a serious message but also offers plenty of laughter and nostalgia!”
David added: “I have been inspired by hearing the stories of domestic abuse victims and what they have suffered – and the sobering thought that there may be many people out there who do not realise they are the victims of such abuse or who do realise it but try to pretend it’s not happening.
“Domestic abuse is not just about violence but about controlling behaviour; abusers may seek to control their victim’s finances, their victim’s friends, and even the victim’s choice of clothing.
“Nobody should have to live with it. I do highlight in the book that there is help out there, both voluntary and professional.
“But turning to the lighter side, I have loved reliving the great sitcoms of the past and sharing my own particular memories of them.
“I may be wrong, but I have tended to think preoccupation with this genre is more of a man thing, and given that I am looking at domestic abuse from the male point of view, I think it is likely the book will appeal to a male rather than female readership – but I think adults of both sexes and of all ages will find it entertaining and enlightening.
“I loved every second of writing the book; it began, as I am sure so many other writing projects did, in lockdown but continued to enthral me long after the shops and pubs were back open! The book starts with the central character, Mark Mannering, clearly in an abusive relationship but in complete denial about its toxicity.”
David has written more than 30 books, mostly on a walking theme but also some on a light-hearted legal theme and several fictional works including fictional diaries of church choir life.