Wednesday, May 09, 2012

What is Ceri Radford reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Ceri Radford, author of A Surrey State of Affairs.

Her entry begins:
I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I’m currently rereading Mansfield Park for, oh, about the 87th time. I have a bit of a Jane Austen obsession. Not only is she a beautiful, timeless writer, but there is also something so soothing about her novels – that elegant sweep towards a well- ordered ending - that I reach for them a little as if they were comfort food. I always notice something new on each rereading. This time it was the brilliantly waspish way she managed to pin down a character (Mr Rushworth) in half a sentence: “He was a heavy young man, with not more than common sense...”) – a salutary lesson on the power of brevity. I did find, as usual, that I was cheering on the villains of the piece (the witty, lively, amoral Mr Crawford and his sister) while despairing at her supine goody goody of a heroine, Fanny Price. In this novel, it almost feels as though Austen is...[read on]

About A Surrey State of Affairs, from the publisher:
Constance Harding's comfortable corner of Surrey is her own little piece of heaven. She lives in a chocolate box house complete with an Aga and a parrot, her bell-ringing club is set to dominate the intercounty tournament, and she is sure she can get her son, Rupert, to settle down if she just writes the perfect personal ad for him. Naturally, things turn disastrous rather quickly. And she's about to learn that her perfect home conceals a scandal that would make the vicar blush.

Her Lithuanian housekeeper's undergarments keep appearing in her husband's study and her daughter is turning into a Lycra-clad gap-year strumpet. As her family falls apart, Constance embarks on an extraordinary journey. From partying in Ibiza to riding bareback with a handsome Argentinean gaucho whose only English words are "Britney" and "Spears," Constance is about to discover a wider world she thought it was too late to find.

Hilarious, inventive, and ultimately heartwarming, A Surrey State of Affairs will appeal to fans of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and the novels of Alexander McCall Smith.
Learn more about the book and author at Ceri Radford's website and like her Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: A Surrey State of Affairs.

My Book, The Movie: A Surrey State of Affairs.

Writers Read: Ceri Radford.

--Marshal Zeringue