Blog Bombing us today we have the lovely Hazel Osmond talking about her new novel ‘Playing Grace’
Over to you Hazel …
From King Lear’s very mixed crew to the Bennet girls, literature is full of sisters. And I’m particularly fascinated by the ways in which this relationship is portrayed as I’m one of three daughters myself and a mother of two girls.
I think that how you make this relationship work – or don’t – is key to your dealings with women out in the wider world. If you come from a highly competitive set up where your sister(s) pushed you out of the way to get to the best food/praise/men, I’d wager you’re unlikely to buy into the idea of’ supportive sisterhood.
While my sisters and I squabbled when we were growing up as part of the rough and tumble of family life – I’ve always counted them among the people I can trust without fail. I hope they’d say the same about me. The only thing I could complain about is that I had to wear a lot of their hand-me-down clothes (cue violins). But that’s a small price to pay for having two people who have always been completely on my side.
What happens, though, when your sisters aren’t a source of comfort, but of irritation? People who, when a crisis happens, offer the kind of advice that just makes things worse?
In ‘Playing Grace‘, I’ve had some fun with that idea.
When the book opens, Grace Surtees lives a very ordered life. She’s got a job that she’s very good at with a company offering art tours of the major galleries in London and a boyfriend who works abroad and only pays brief visits back to England. Neither the job nor the boyfriend ruffle the surface of her life – until her boss takes on a young American guy called Tate to offer tours of the more challenging types of modern art. Then things start to fall apart. Big time.
Not only does art start to disappear off the walls in the galleries she visits, her parents’ marriage hits a rough patch and her boss starts to display increasingly worrying behaviour. And Tate? Well he senses that there’s a different Grace hiding under the one everyone else sees and starts to chip away at her self control to find it.
And how do her sisters help?
By offering increasingly bizarre advice and constantly reminding Grace that the person she is now, is not the person she used to be. And, to make things worse, the advice is dispensed via emails, phone calls and specially crafted poems, which by the time they arrive are usually out of step with what’s happening in London.
If I tell you that Grace’s mother, a woman who sees herself as being at one with the cosmos, has brought her girls up to be free spirits and that all the sisters except Grace have slightly off-world names and professions – Zinovia True works in an ashram in California, another sister is part of an all-female mime troup – you probably get the picture.
Under pressure from all sides – what could make matters worse? Except finding yourself attracted to the very man you know you should run away from …
This is where I say the bit about you having to read ‘Playing Grace’ to find out what happens. If you do I hope you enjoy it .. . I also hope that if you have sisters yourself, they don’t give you as much bother as Grace’s do!
Find out more about Hazel by visiting her blog here
Thanks so much Hazel, I have a sister and also have two daughters, I always find the sibling bond or un-bond fascinating.