‘Yet it is only love that sets us free,’

And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be yet it is only love that sets


us free,’ inspires  Maya Angelou’s  ‘Touched by an Angel’  poem about how love frees us


from  ‘coils of loneliness’  and timorousness, letting us  live as ‘who we are and


ever will be’. She  unveils love , a potent force for  the liberation of the human spirit .


Mei dei Pa‘am witnesses  post-war social unease in the  melee of  emerging new


social orders, spawned by one of the worse  conflicts the world has  known.


Maeve fearlessly seeks to follow her love of fashion  to escape from the social


restrictions of  her class whatever  the cost and  rises , as Angelou pens in  ‘I rise’ a poem


about the slavery of Afro-Americans,’ Out of the huts of history’s shame ,I rise’ she affirms.



Maeve, a free spirit restrained by the restrictions of her loveless marriage, shackled to a


man unable to love her, ‘rises’. Her  single-minded determination to pursue her  dream of


working in the rag trade shaped her character, fashioned her love affairs, liberated her from


her ‘sepia coloured existence’ .


 Recovering from her failed clandestine first love affair,  she has the heart to ‘rise’ again .


 ‘How many of you out there been  hurt in some kind of love affair ,how


many times, did you swear that you’d never love again ?’, questions Sting.


But Maeve, wretched  at the loss of her first love, perseveres  and ‘rising’ emerges


Enlightened, ‘and still I rise into a daybreak that is wondrously clear’,  meeting Manny,


a holocaust survivor  also ‘trodden onto the dust’, a German Jewish refugee with the


heart to ‘rise’,  rebuilding  his life in the fashion industry by  grit and graft,  ironically


making sense of the Nazi slogan,  ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’.



A recent review of my story wrote:  ‘A glorious vision of the past described by strong


women who are not afraid of love and the heartache it brings’. 



I was touched by this review as Mi dei Pa’am , a fictious story, was inspired my  mother


and her sister who also ‘rose’ from the wretchedness and prejudice associated with a


poverty-stricken Manchester childhood post World- War one.


Reading the review  brought into focus their strength, a fact  that  I had previously


considered  the norm rather than the exception.


As I  grew up in the shadow of the devastation of  World -War two how else could


they be ?


Between them,  my mother and her sister created a haven for our family in a sometime-


tough environment, an oasis in the desert  of  uncompromising  city  life.  I was privileged


to grow up in a family who, like many post-war did not have much money, giving me an


early ‘heads up’ on one of life’s greatest lessons, as Angelou writes,



‘And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love that sets


us free’.