An Extract From The Birds, The Bees And Other Secrets
My latest novel, “The Birds, The Bees, and Other Secrets”, is due to be published on the 1st August 2008.
This is the story of Cassandra and her relationship with her delightful if eccentric mother, the disparate people who shared their lives, and the triumphs and tragedies they met along the way. The following is an exerpt from the novel:
The party was a success. All my mother’s parties were successes, as she didn’t hesitate to remind me. It seemed as though everyone I had ever known was packed into our house, eating and drinking and laughing, some of them smoking strange-smelling cigarettes, others making uninvited use of the bedrooms to further their new-found friendships.
Richard had brought his ukelele; Greta sang along to an old gramophone record, accompanied by Mum on the ironing board; someone I had never seen before had brought bagpipes; The Dog sat in the cupboard under the stairs and howled. The noise was indescribable.
I found Lucas sitting on the stairs drinking a pale liquid out of a bottle.
“Vodka,” he explained briefly. “Want some?”
I nodded, and took the bottle from him.
“It doesn’t taste of anything,” I objected.
“It doesn’t have to,” Lucas grinned. “Have some more.”
I had some more, and soon discovered that Lucas was right. It didn’t matter in the least what vodka tasted like; it was the effect that mattered. Very soon I was singing along to the nearest instrument (the bagpipes, as it happened; not an easy instrument to sing along to, but as I discovered, I simply had to open my mouth and the vodka did the rest).
At half past eleven, the neighbours started to bang on the door and talk about disturbed sleep and work in the morning. Mum smiled and apologised and invited them all in, and some of them even went home to fetch more bottles to replenish our diminishing stocks.
“Just think,” I said to Lucas, as we walked unsteadily towards the kitchen in search of more food. “Any of these people could be our fathers.”