The relationship between siblings is among the most complex of human relationships,
affected by the similarities inherent in shared genes and family environment, but also by
differences in siblings make-up, and in their responses to their upbringing. Parents
and others may consciously or unconsciously treat the children differently, or perhaps
children perceive their treatment as different, even unfair. As children grow into
adulthood, separation, other loves, and their own experience of parenthood colour their
Paula and Joanna are sisters, close in age, only children in a devout Catholic family.
Paula, the younger, is the pretty one, everybodys pet, conditioned to please. She
idolises her elder sister, whose bitter perception that she is not the favoured one drives
her to a life of achievement of which Paula is permanently in awe. Joanna helped her
younger sister through childhood crises, so the adult Paula finds a way to pay back the
debt she feels by acting as a surrogate mother for the infertile Joanna. But she
underestimates the power of mother love.
The hypertext explores, via a series of linked stories and other hypermedia elements,
the themes of motherhood, genetics, injustice and spirituality.
Each element, complete in itself, forms a fragment of Paula's story, directly or
indirectly relating to it via one of the four themes. Whatever the route chosen through
the hypertext, the reader will build up a revealing picture of Paulas journey
through life and her relationship with her sister. Some stories present alternate visions
of the characters' lives, so each route taken may give a slightly different impression.
Comments are welcome on all stories mentioned below, especially recent first drafts
- 10/9/98 New stories, Lindisfarne and To return and to depart (The End!) and Jeans for Genes: which is a fictional email New draft of The treat (was Injustice in the restaurant)
- 3/9/98 Lots of tweaking and polishing: new story, Childhood,
new versions of May Queen and The truth
and Slime moulds in space
- 12/8/98 Second draft of Injustice in the restaurant
(injustice, spirituality and, obviously, motherhood): Mandy removed as
least relevant of all the stories (format and ideas were plundered for From Joanna).
- 11/8/98 From Joanna, a phone call and letter to expand on
Joanna's poem, formerly called Full Term (motherhood, and part of it's spirituality)
- 29/7/98 First draft of A surprise in the restaurant: second
draft of The truth (sequel to The May
- 25/7/98 Removal of Mirror, mirror, an interesting story, but doesn't
fit in with this hypertext well enough.
- 7/7/98 Version 2 of The Arrivals and a noframes version added
- 27/6/98 Third draft of Barely a life and new element Paula's Bookmarks
- 21/6/98 Unfinished first draft of Mirror, mirror, a spiritual journey
- 21/5/98 First drafts of unfinished stories The Perfect Home Show,
Admissions and first half of Expressions of
love (all motherhood),
- 19/5/98 First drafts of new stories: Christmas (motherhood), Slime moulds in space (genetics), Meeting
Leo (spirituality) and unfinished The May Queen (first in
injustice thread!), new draft of Catherine
- 14/5/98 Redesign: brandnew "home" or title page: New
version of Lourdes: the threads are indicated: injustice is
- 5/5/98 New story It's Mandy, have you got a minute?
- 4/4/98 New element: Full Term: poetry, inspired by Seamus
- 4/4 98 Full list of stories now available, as there still aren't
enough for the threads to work properly
- 28/3/98 Redesign of graphics, still needs work!
- 2/3/98 Version 1.5 of The Arrivals in Motherhood thread: a
story in frames.
- 16/2/98 Second draft of The Cure and new draft of Barely a life
in Motherhood thread.
- 8/2/98 New story: The Cure (first draft) in Genetics and
Search for Meaning threads
- 8/2/98 Redesign of story pages so that tables work better
- 6/2/98 New element: Jessica's birth certificate
- 3/1/98 New introductory text (See visions)
- 7/12/97 Slightly edited version of Webs (in Genetics and
Motherhood threads) now up
- Started with Barely a life, Webs, Lourdes, Father Garnet's Peace, Catherine
Last amended on 10th September 1998 / copyright H. M. Whitehead