A character often written as violent, heartless or worse, Estraven offers us a softer Trisha. Imprisoned wrongfully and unable to cope, we watch as she slowly starts to self-destruct under the pressure of prison life. We meet Claire Walker, Trisha’s lawyer and friend of Helen Stewart, Wing Governor of G-Wing, both of whom believe that Trisha was wrongly convicted. And then we meet Nikki Wade, tattoo artist, former lover and always friend to Trisha; she’ll do anything to help Trish, but has a wee bit of a problem working alongside a screw – namely Helen Stewart.
Nevertheless, an alliance is formed, and while the occasional spark of temper flies between the head-strong tattoo artist and the by-the-book wing governor, other things, shall we say, begin to ignite as well. The characterizations of Helen and Nikki are spot-on and the interaction between the two characters is downright perfect! The reader will find themselves reading page after page of dialogue that is so well written, you will think you’re listening to their conversations instead of reading them.
Some of the other usual suspects appear in ‘Written on the Heart’ – namely Shell Dockley, Bodybag, Sean (the prawn) Parr and of course, the bastard Fenner, and Estraven has written each and every one perfectly, but she also introduces a new character, Jane. And although her name may be simple, the character is anything but. A strong and brooding loner, we meet her in Larkhall where she offers Trisha protection, and slowly, a friendship is born. While not a character that appeared in the original series, Estraven has written Jane so wonderfully that you’ll find yourself pulling for her, just as you do for Nikki and Helen. Not an easy task!
Of course, while the story contains lots of great characters and pages of wonderful dialogue – it wouldn’t be complete without a little romance. Did I say little? How about slow … as in simmer … because that’s what Estraven gives us. The attraction between the two main characters, namely Nikki and Helen, happens slowly, and the reader will find themselves sitting back with a smile on their face as they watch the characters fall in love – whether they like it or not.
I dare not say more about the storyline of the wonderful piece of fan fiction that is “Written on the Heart,” because I feel the reader needs to discover that for themselves, but I will say that you will be hard-pressed to find a better author than Estraven.