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Born into a bilingual family (Swedish/English), Hélene Fermont enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the outskirts of Malmö, Sweden's third largest city and a major cultural hub.
Growing up in the early 1970s, she enjoyed a brief musical career on Swedish TV and radio before pursuing a rewarding career as a therapist specialising in children with learning difficulties.
Hélene has lived in London for over 20 years but still regularly returns to her native Sweden, where the unspoiled scenery and tranquility help aid the creative process.
Through Hélene’s work and travels what has struck her most is that, irrelevant of culture and religion, most people’s lives are defined by past experiences and self-worth. This curiosity into what drives people is reflected in her writing, which has a distinct focus on characterisation and realism, reminiscent in some ways of the popular 'Scandinavian Noir' genre. Her unique style of storytelling is best described as contemporary women's fiction with a psychological twist.
Hélene’s sensational debut novel, Because of You, features a Scandinavian-British narrative, in-depth psychological characterisations and a morally-complex plot spanning three turbulent decades in the life of its protagonists.
Aiming to eventually turn her writing into a full-time career, Hélene is currently hard at work on her second novel.
If you enjoy a dramatic yet unpretentious family tale with bickering relatives and plenty of scandal then this could well be the book for you. Patricia is left bereft when her husband dies, particularly when it appears that a scandal is attached. A number of relationships are in the spotlight, from London to France and Sweden, each connected and matter-of-factly told. The simplicity of telling ensured I remained at a distance, each person is as contrary and contradictory as people are in real life. The characters fluttered and sometimes zipped between feelings, and while the outcome for some was in little doubt, it was interesting to see how they fielded the detritus life threw at them. With compassion and no judgement His Guilty Secret looks at guilt and innocence, and at how each can shape and destroy lives.
An emotional, yet simply told relationship tale, spanning thirty years and two countries. 18 year old Hannah leaves Sweden for a gap year in London, we follow her across the years as she makes friends, falls in love, and meets all the highs and lows that life can throw at her. While Hannah is the main focus of the story, her love interests, friends, foe and family are a necessary and captivating addition. There were times when Hannah felt naive and in need of a good talking to, she isn't perfect, she makes mistakes. Helene Fermont skates across time, filling in a picture of Hannah, yet ensuring a feeling of uncluttered structure to this lengthy tale. At times there is almost a diary like feel to the story, with narrative taking up a lot of the novel, leaving the reader to fill in emotion and feelings. ‘Because of You’ is an interesting glimpse into the past, covers a variety of issues, is full of drama, and yet is an easy and captivating read. A 'Piece of Passion from the publisher... 'From the first time I had the chance to read the MS for Because of You, I knew that Helene Fermont had an exceptional gift for fiction. Her particular passion is for characterisation and it shows in the well-drawn protagonists and antagonists of her novel. Each character is fully realised and has their own motivations and psychological drives that spur them forward, for better or worse. This commitment to realism, and a fearlessness when it comes to tackling dark, morally complex issues, is virtually unheard of in the contemporary women’s fiction genre and it brings something refreshingly new to readers. Helene is Anglo-Swedish and her fiction offers a compelling, original mix of women’s lit and Scandi noir. In the publishing industry it’s common to fret over authors who don’t neatly fit certain boxes, but Helene’s writing shows such promise and has already generated such a glowing response that on this occasion it’s the right thing to break the mould.' Christian Bjärnram, CEO - Fridhem Publishing September 2016 Debut of the Month.