'It got better, in time, though if she were to be truthful it always felt more of a duty than a pleasure: a little like homework, satisfying when over, and done well, but never exactly enjoyable. But then nobody had ever suggested it could be otherwise.'
This was the view of Claudia Faraday, respectable wife and mother of three, on the subject of sex. That is until an unexpected visit from a colleague of her absent husband's shakes her out of her torpor in a most surprising, not to say unlikely way, and spurs her to start keeping a diary that has remained hidden for nearly 100 years.
The diary reveals a woman venturing into the outside world of the 1920s with a fresh mind and an updated attitude, prompted to re-evaluate the lives of her family and her friends and, ultimately, herself. As she does so she discovers, as Marie Stopes might have said: Approached in the right way, even homework can be fun.
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Comments about The Unlikely Adventures of Claudia Faraday:
Claudia Faraday may well get a name for herself. She's no Phryne Fisher or Lady Chatterley - she's far too subtle and mature - yet this middle-aged 1920s empty nester finds herself in the midst of a sexual awakening that seems decades ahead of its time. Along the way she encounters icons of the inter-war years; lusty suitors who may (or may not) come up with the goods for a lady of a certain age in need of a little stimulation, for both body and soul; and ruminates on the major issues for women of her generation, and the next, not by talking about men, but by opening her eyes to the lives of several fascinating contemporary women. What I loved most about this intriguing book is how it took me back to a time when people genuinely weren't able to recognise sexual diversity, to the point when it went completely unchallenged for its sheer shock value; and in those days, women enjoying sex certainly counted as sexual diversity. A witty, easy read replete with the requisite well-preserved older men the genre seems to demand, while also managing to land a mild feminist punch. I came to cheer for Claudia's triumphs as much as I grumbled at her self doubt, because she takes the journey to working out what attracts her, instead of simply living as a thing of beauty waiting to attract others.
'Clever, original, beautifully written, with the kind of dry, sly wit that is so pleasing.' Joan Deitch
Number Of Pages: 297
Published: 6th November 2015
Publisher: Prefab Publications
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 12.7 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.33