Earlier this month, Lucinda interviewed Fran Hill, an author and retired English teacher, about her brilliant debut novel Cuckoo in the Nest. Set in the heatwave summer of 1976, it is inspired by Fran’s own experience of being fostered. Its narrator is bright, sarcastic, 14-year-old poet, Jackie Chadwick, newly-fostered by the Wall family. Jackie desperately needs stability but the Walls’ insecure, jealous teenage daughter Amanda isn’t happy about the ‘cuckoo’ and sets about ousting her.
Despite dealing with what sounds like difficult and depressing subjects, the book is actually very funny and easy to read. The characters are really cleverly created and the situations, the location and the (many!) descriptions of food will take you right back to the 1970s. When Amanda’s behaviour leads to a crisis, the carefully laid veneer covering the Wall family starts to crack, and everyone had to reassess what is important to them.
Join Lucinda at 12pm on 23 February to talk about this life-affirming novel and the Goldster Book Club in general.
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Benefits of reading, a multifaceted cognitive process, include:
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