by EJ Pepper
(Originally titled: ‘Mr. Whittaker.’)
‘A before and an after. With any crisis, it is the same. One moment, things are going along much as they have always done. A satisfying balance. And in the next, an event threatens to destroy everything you have ever worked or cared for. The world tilts. All your bearings are gone.
Sometimes, of course, you see the crisis coming, and can avert it in the nick of time. Sometimes it is transitory: An errant husband or wife returns to the fold. A person’s reputation is not, after all, irretrievably damaged.
So at what point do you stop agonising over what you might have done differently? At what point can you relax, safe in the knowledge that it is truly over?’
Set in the UK in the early twenty-first century, ‘Flight Path’ explores the effect that an accusation of sexual assault has on a couple and their children, and it highlights the question – how well do we ever really know someone?
Sixty-two year old Miles Whittaker, a teacher at a minor public school, is accused of bullying one of his pupils. As a result he and his wife are asked to leave while the school board try to ascertain the truth.
Miles, shocked and disorientated, finds adapting to life in a run-down part of London almost impossible, while his wife Sophie’s deepest concern is for the affect this accusation will have on her twin girls, now at university.
As he buries his head in the sand, it is up to Sophie to hold the family together, while she questions just how well she knows her husband of thirty years’ standing.
Due for publication 2020
Due for publication: 2020
‘Sensitively written and highly topical, this is a brilliant portrayal of two worlds colliding, and the far-reaching effects this type of accusation can have.’ Exeter Novel Prize.