By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An author’s dream is to pen celebrated work that shares their personal story and view of the world, and Gordon Lewis, an Irish expatriate living in Rio off-and-on for almost ten years, has done just that. The recently released “Secret Child” by Gordon Lewis and Andrew Croft has been published by HarperCollins and has had such success that Lewis is back in Santa Teresa working on his next book.
Described as, “The shocking true story of a young boy hidden away from his family and the world in a Catholic home for unmarried mothers in 1950s Dublin. Born an ‘unfortunate’ onto the rough streets of 1950s Dublin, this is the incredible true story of a young boy, a secret child born into a home for unmarried mothers in 1950s Dublin and a mother determined to keep her child, even if it meant hiding him from her own family and the rest of the world.”
The book tells the story of how, “Despite the poverty, hardship and isolation, the pride and hope of a community of women who banded together to raise their children would give this boy his chance to find his real family. A wonderfully heartwarming and evocative tale of working class life in 1950s Dublin and 1960s London.”
Gordon Lewis explained how the story and title formed for him. “The title ‘Secret Child’ came from the fact, I was a secret child in Dublin. My mother was determined to keep me and lived a double life as a single mother by changing her name and doing other things to insure she kept me. I tell my mother’s love story from a young boy’s point of view with lots of humor.”
Lewis and partner Yewweng first came to Rio de Janeiro in 2007, while on holiday in Brazil, and fell in love with the city. The bought a crumbling mansion in Santa Teresa and converted it into Quinta Rosa – five apartments and two studios for residential renting. Since then they have also opened Quinta Azul, a pousada also in Santa Teresa and LondonRio, a turnkey office provider in Centro.
Lewis shares his experience as a writer in Rio, “I did write most of the book in Quinta Rosa and little in Quinta Azul. I found Rio a great place to look out to sea and work on the book. I always wanted to try write a book like most people. […] But, I could not believe my Irish luck when within three weeks of finishing the book the number one book agent and book publishing company, HapperCollins wanted to sign me up. The rest was history.”