Eleanor, Ruth, Sigmund Freud discussed on Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour


The other thing that comes through in this book is that it's really about it's about love, all different types of love unconditional love, that kind of nasty love that's difficult and people who are hard to love. It is clear something you're very interested in. Yes. And the idea that people may not seem to have earned our love, but they still deserve it, and I wanted to be very respectful to all the characters in the book. And obviously any book that's written in the first person, your very aware of all the other books that might be hovering in the air, Eleanor's story, for example, we never hear and her version of events would be completely different. There's quite a lot in the book about how feelings of shame stop us from full disclosure and prevent us from being completely honest, and that that's a sort of theme in the book. The other theme is friendship, old friendships between women and what happens as well when trouble comes to those friendships and Ruth's friends want very badly to help her, which I'm sure we've all been there, but they're not. They don't always do the right thing. No, I'm very interested in the sort of cadence of friendship what it can run to how elastic and how sometimes our friends can seem to do almost more than our family would be able to. And how they can utterly save the day on a Monday and on Tuesday, drive us completely mad, so I want it to have that in. There is a one friendship in the book that grows throughout the book and by the end of it sort of takes on enormous levels of responsibility and yet still isn't immune to petty jealousies and things that shouldn't quite happen and things that have to be ignored and that cause eyes to roll when maybe there should have been more courtesy and so I'm very interested in the rhythm of friendship. You said in an interview that you're very Freudian in your approach to writing. And I know that's appropriate enough as you're the great granddaughter of Sigmund Freud. But what did you mean by that? Well, I suppose whenever I create a character, I'm very aware of how that character would have been brought up how their parents would have been brought up going back and back and back and how how the children sort of build the adults in the book. And so I suppose I'm always, there'll be a lot of history of the family that will be in the back of my mind that won't actually make it onto the page. That you could be forgiven for thinking that this book is bleak. And at times when I was reading it over Christmas, it did seem quite harrowing. But there's a lot of humor in it too in the way that Ruth views the world. I mean, she's constantly giving it the side eye if you like, isn't she? Yes, she is. She's both deeply impressed and rather unimpressed with life and her best friend genius extremely sardonic to put it mildly. There's quite a nice bit where Ruth has to go to a lot of funerals in a row, which is pretty overwhelming. And Jean, her friend says, well, at least they're not as bad as weddings because the damage is already done. I remember that..

Coming up next