It came to me last night, something finally that works for the book (now 40,000 words quietly and roughly typed up)
The Book of the Alter.
The spelling is deliberate – ‘alter’ refers to the alternative selves who appear in the book. Tick is still very much front and centre, but now he has diverged into two characters – this not indicative of dissociative disorder, but manifestations of…something. Arthur, his dream-friend from pioneer times, an ex-jesuit and something of a dark horse, and Theo, who has a sinister friendship with the young Margaret. I am not sure what he is planning, but it probably will be well intended but cause suffering. Or at the very least confusion.
Which is how this book is being written. A constant and sustained bash of bafflement.