Author writes a moving memoir of her mother

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on June 22, 2017

LOSING a loved one is difficult and perplexing.

New Albany author Laura Manning hopes her new book Keeping Mum will allow other people to realise that they are not alone in their feelings of confusion and despair.

Written after her mother died, Ms Manning’s memoir travels through time to encompass the period spent caring for her mother.

This includes her mother’s experiences with different aged care facilities, after she developed dementia as the result of a stroke.

“I wrote at night after she died,” Ms Manning said.

“It is a cathartic thing.

“I have always loved writing and it was my way of coping with the loss of my mum.”

Ms Manning’s condensed family history gives a glimpse into the uncertainty and reluctance of family care for the elderly.

Keeping Mum reveals the constant responsibility that comes with aged care and the struggle of seeing a loved one’s health decline.

Keeping Mum also explores the unexpected and unexplained “signs” people may experience in the aftermath of a great loss.

By creating a memorial for her mum, Ms Manning hopes that Keeping Mum will be a way of connecting with others and revealing the truth about the struggles of elderly care.

Always the perpetual student, Ms Manning’s writing career began in London and continued after her move to Australia, with film script writing also being a part of her résume.

However, writing Keeping Mum presented a new type of challenge.

“Writing absorbs you,” Ms Manning said.

“It is hard at times because it takes you to a different world.

“Despite my publishers being very patient and meticulous, the whole publishing process and deciding what information to keep in the story was an experience of its own.”

Now considering other novels and possibly more film scripts, Ms Manning’s primary focus is encouraging people to be honest and speak about their struggles and experiences.
Keeping Mum is available from Paperbark Merchants and online at