One of the themes of my second book, The Time Telephone, is child abandonment. The main character is a teenage girl who, unlike many children in real life, has not been totally abandoned. But Megan still feels the pain of being left behind by a mother who chooses immersing herself in a career as a network foreign correspondent. She grows up with her grandmother since there’s no father either. Her mother got pregnant using a sperm bank and Megan believes she did it just so she could report on the experience.
In the novel, Megan calls through time on a time telephone, trying desperately to save her mother from a bomb blast in Afghanistan – an explosion that’s already happened. But she’s also desperate to convince her mom to have a real mother-daughter relationship with her.
I don’t know how often parents opt out of parental responsibilities. Too often, I’m afraid. In my book, I lay out Megan’s emotional wounds. But I also try to show that, at least for her, there are other people in her life who care. If only all the children whose parents split could be so lucky.
I don’t understand how parents can leave their children, short of mental illness or other extreme circumstances. But I hope my novel might shine a little light on the problem and hopefully help some of the kids feeling abandoned by the people who are supposed to nurture and protect them.