Ruth, Lily, Billy Connolly discussed on Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And then when the priest gave the sermon, it was all about grief, which was very, very powerful, so there was a sense of this occasion that was filled with threat and peril but also tremendous consolation and when I got back to London I wrote the christening scene in the novel as a short story and then that sort of all grew from there. And it ends up that Ruth actually brings up the granddaughter her granddaughter. We've talked a lot on woman's era by about kinship care when family members bring up a child that for whatever reasons can't be with their parents. What does the arrival of her granddaughter lily mean to Ruth? Well, I suppose I've always been interested in all the different ways of being a family and that two sisters with no other relatives can be a family and a grandmother and a baby might be almost a couple. And I wanted to create a baby that was really, really spectacular, a lot of there's a lot of talk about babies being the last straw and ruining your sleep and having in your plans, but life with babies when it's at its best when you're almost in a swoon at that hot little limbs or the feel of that curls on the side of your arm or I wanted to bring some of that in and the side of babies that can be almost ecstatic at the sight of a cotton reel or a mushroom and that kind of thing that that's a very powerful thing to be around and it's very powerful for the Ruth character who doesn't find life the easiest, but really gets a lot receives a lot from the child who does seem to know how to live life. There's an interesting thing in the children being brought up by grandparents. Billy Connolly writes about it. He calls them granny's boys. He's very funny about it. Obviously, he naturally is. And, in fact, he was a granny's boy himself. It's that idea that children who brought up by their grandparents are slightly set apart, they have a slightly different upbringing. Definitely in about granny's boys they always say that they have the neatest hair in the whitest shirts. But I think even if you meet a 7 year old now, who knows tons about flowers and birds there's a big chance they'll spend a lot of time with their grandparents, and I like that thing of the sort of generational mix up that a child might know the songs instead of knowing the songs from the 90s and the 70s might know songs from the 50s and the 30s and that suddenly they're a little bit out of step, and often they'll hold on to values of kindness and courtesy that might not be so in fashion nowadays. Ruth's daughter, Eleanor is an addict that's the reason that she can't bring up her own child really. You don't write much about her journey from being a bright loving child. We know she was one. Into the desperate woman that she now becomes. Why did you not write about that? Well, I wanted to keep all that at the edge of the story really because it's.

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