The Land of No Hope Survives


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Where Death is Not The Only Consequence of Suicide
By Louise Stokes

ISBN: 978-1-84747-851-1
Published: 2009
Pages: 278
Key Themes: fiction, family, relationships


This modern day dark and adult Faerie Tale, following the life of Princess and her family, explores the complexities of the human mind, the fragility of human nature, and the ‘shadow self’ which resides within each and every one of us.

Abuse is a crime; to survive it, an art. Princess must find the art of her own inner creativity to survive the crime committed against her, her loved ones and countless others.

The Land of No Hope Survives tells the story of how the abuse of power and desire for control by those with a duty of care, in positions of authority and trust, affected the mental health of a mother and in so doing, destroyed the safety, trust and togetherness of her family.

This novel takes the reader along their painful journey with them as they struggle to comprehend, and find some resolution within, their shattered lives.

The path leads them through time-honoured Faerie Tale dilemmas, allegorical, metaphorical, moral and psychological, before they reach a final, but not necessarily happy-ever-after destination.

About the Author

Louise Stokes, born in Somerset on February 8th 1962, became an actor, writer, stand up comedian, artist and healer, as a result of nhs bullying. She grew up in Shropshire before studying a Joint Honours B.A. in Philosophy and Politics at Durham University, moving to Birmingham in 1984, after gaining her degree, to train as a psychiatric nurse. She devoted fifteen years of her life to the health service, working first with adults, and later specialising in child psychiatry. During these years, she gained a Certificate in Individual and Family Counselling, an M.A. in Sociological Research in Health Care, and a Diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.

Just one look at Louise’s CV tells a story of a formidable woman, who has achieved intellectually and professionally, and more recently as a writer and performer. How can a woman like that be bullied? Well, bullies are everywhere, and even, or perhaps especially, the formidable, the successful, the popular, can be bullied. The bullies described in her first published book, in 2007; ‘Marooned, “a journey through bullying using poetry as the guide”’ operated in the nhs,, beloved by the British public .The Land of No Hope Survives…Where Death is Not the only consequence of Suicide is her second novel ; publications of her comedy poetry and performance manuscripts in 2007 and then her first novel, Faerie Dust in 2008 quickly followed the publication of Marooned.

Up until the events of 1998, written about in this first book, Louise had never taken one single day off sick, even completing shifts only hours before the births of three of her four children. The twelve months sick leave imposed upon her by health service managerial bullies bullying her to within an inch of her life, ended one vocation only to open the door almost immediately to another when she embarked on a theatre studies course at Birmingham Theatre School in 2000. From here, she went on to achieve an HND in Community Theatre at Dudley College. The ability to write, which had been given to her as a gift, she believes, to ease her pain in her darkest moments, developed into a new career, and Louise now writes and performs for a living as well as running drama and creative workshops for children and adults. Her previous background has meant she now uses her drama and writing training and skills to work creatively with people experiencing mental health issues as well as with a variety of other people.

The intense and disillusioned condition in which the nhs bullying had left her meant that although it had provided her with plenty of comedy, as well as serious material, she had been completely robbed of her sense of humour. A vow to remain serious, depressed, and pessimistic about the world and those within it for the rest of her life, came to a premature close when her sense of humour unexpectedly returned and she decided to turn tragedy into comedy and become a stand-up comedian and comedy writer in addition to her serious writing and performance work. She now tours the country on the comedy circuit, reached the semi-finals of So You Think You’re Funny? the Edinburgh Fringe national new comedy act competition in 2008, and continues to make her mark in national competitions around the country.

She currently lives in Handsworth Wood, with her husband Robin, four sons, and four cats.
As a member of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers, Louise is also a practicing Spiritual Healer, and has completed her Second Degree Reiki Healer training. She believes that her Faeries, Angels and all her Guardians guided her through the dark tunnels of the health service and brought her out into the Light of the better world in which she lives today.

To spend her working life in the realms of an imagination which can counter the often harsh so- called ‘realities’ of the so-called ‘real’ world is indeed a dream come true.

Book Extract

This story begins with Once Upon a Time, and it is about a princess. I am going to tell you this story, as the princess told it to me, and tells it to me still…because it is still going on. So how we are going to reach an ending, I’m not quite sure. But still, we’ve only just begun our tale, so we won’t worry about that now. I do want you to be clear on one thing however. Yes, this story starts with Once Upon a Time, because every story has to start somehow. And yes, it is about a princess…because we are all princesses or princes in one form or another.

But it is not a Faerie Story. Or perhaps it is?

You will hear it referred to as such at times throughout the pages, and you must decide for yourself why that is and if you agree. I’m not in the business of prescriptiveness, see. I feel fortunate that I never lived in that land where such philosophies take pride of place.

So, then, once upon a time there was a princess who lived a life of self destruction. It’s amazing she is still here at all, since she regularly and frequently sabotages all attempts made either by herself or others to give her back a life of living rather than a living death.

Sometimes she thinks she might actually be dead, and that her Soul is somehow lingering, wavering amongst those she knows, even going out and meeting new living Souls, in an attempt to find in death what she could not find in life…not after they had finished with her…Peace. But the princess thinks she is probably still alive, her uncertainty probably the reason she exists in the way she does, engages in what those who claim psychological superiority would term ‘risk- taking behavior’ or self sabotage. At least the pain, or the fear, or the thrill give her an indication that perhaps she hasn’t yet left these physical dimensions.

People think, you see, that if one commits suicide, one is dead, gone, needing a burial and a grave and the laments of those left who care (if there are any)… or pretend to care (if they can be bothered)…about what a waste and a shame and tragedy for the lost soul to leave these Earthly planes in this way, the funeral no comfort or solace, and the grief tempered with anger and guilt and other uncomfortable emotions swimming around the insides of those left behind trying to convince themselves that really, they couldn’t have done more.


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