Does modern life wreck relationships?

'I think people often decide to do what they think their peers or the society around them expects of

'I think people often decide to do what they think their peers or the society around them expects of them, rather than what they instinctively feel is right,' says Anne - Credit: PA

Anne’s book features two people whose rash decisions have life-changing consequences

Here’s something to ponder: The story of two people who make decisions on the spur of the moment that have unforeseen and life-changing consequences.

It’s the first full-length novel from former advertising copywriter and TV commercial scriptwriter Anne Lalaguna, who moved to Suffolk just over six years ago to be nearer her family.

Not the Same River covers 18 months in the lives of two successful single people in their late 30s; Jack Millfield, an advertising agency executive, and Dr Maggie Savernake, a university lecturer.

Fellow students from years back, they meet again at a reunion and try to rekindle their old romance – with unexpected and disastrous consequences for both.

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For they haven’t paused to consider that much time has passed since they first met and they are no longer the same people they were.

The story highlights the implications of an unwanted pregnancy. The tension between instinctive emotion and the stresses of modern life is a subject close to Anne’s heart and a theme underpinning the novel.

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“I think that a lot of the problems men and women face in their relationships today are often occasioned by the demands and expectations of modern life,” she says.

“To put it more simply, I think people often decide to do what they think their peers or the society around them expects of them, rather than what they instinctively feel is right.”

Sounds intriguing. Can she expand?

“We all make decisions every day that can impact on the direction our lives take. Often, well probably most of the time, we don’t even realise there has been a change of direction until we are well and truly en route.

“I think when you listen or watch people closely, it is quite apparent that this is going on all the time. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to see or notice oneself doing it!”

Why do we fall into this trap?

“I think there are many reasons, not least how much self-control it takes not to succumb to the pressures and immediacy of modern life, which seem to insinuate themselves into every aspect of our daily lives.”

Not the Same River is via self-publishing company Troubador at £9.99

My thesis was entitled ‘A Social History of the Shower Bath in Britain’

Anne Lalaguna:

Born and grew up in North London

‘I have been interested in reading and writing since I could hold a pencil. During my childhood and adolescence I was often told to “Put that book down, Anne!” in order to join family activities or talk to one or other of our visiting relatives

‘I worked as an advertising copywriter and TV commercial scriptwriter for many years. It was an exciting and stimulating environment and I met a lot of dynamic, creative and exciting people. Advertising campaigns are the product of intensive co-ordinated teamwork, so there are no specific projects that I want to single out or take credit for’

Went to university as mature student after children started school

Studied part-time. Awarded BA Hons, then MA

‘My main areas of research were comparative politics and social history. My MA thesis was entitled A Social History of the Shower Bath in Britain, The re-invention of the Shower Culture’

Financed studies by working part-time – ‘and I look back on those years as one of the most satisfying, enjoyable and exhausting periods of my life! During which I met a lot of interesting people from all walks of life and learned a great deal, which has proved to be very useful for my writing’

Now lives in Suffolk with husband. Has three grown-up children

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