Friday, September 18, 2020

The Awakening of Claudia Faraday by Patsy Trench - Book Blitz


The Awakening Of Claudia Faraday

‘It got better, in time, though 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, 1920s respectable wife and mother of three, on the subject of sex. That is until an unexpected turn of events shakes her out of her torpor and propels her back into the world revitalised and reawakened, where she discovers, as Marie Stopes might have said: Approached in the right way, even homework can be fun.

Purchase Link - https://mybook.to/ClaudiaF

Excerpt
Claudia’s friend Prudence has come to stay with her, and the previous evening she discovered Prue once spent a night with her one-time boyfriend Dougie.

Breakfast the following morning was conducted in silence.

Claudia was disinclined to talk not just because she felt betrayed, which she did, but because she knew she had no right to feel so. If her best friend had gone on to have an affair with a man whom she, Claudia, had turned down, what happened subsequently was really none of her business. Which total lack of justification only made things worse.

Prudence was rendered mute not only because she was waiting for an apology from Claudia for walking out on her the night before – and how typical of her to walk away from a confrontation – but because she was unprepared to provide Claudia with any kind of explanation or apology for something that had happened twenty-something years previously, and which had nothing to do with her in the first place.

It was the kind of impasse that can continue indefinitely between friends who have known one another for so long that politeness, which is what usually puts a stop to the awkwardness of a prolonged silence, was no longer a consideration. Thus does the most advanced species on the planet conduct the business of communication.

It was Prudence who finally broke it. As she buttered her toast, with more vehemence than the poor item deserved, she said, ‘I can’t bear it when you go all silent on me.’

Claudia did not reply.

‘If you want me to go I will go, and willingly. I can’t abide this steely silence. Speak your mind, for God’s sake.’

‘When I’m good and ready,’ said Claudia.

That was more than someone like Prudence could tolerate.

‘I hate it when you go like this. You always did go like this. Sulk, sulk, sulk. It drives me demented.’

‘Then go, if you want to.’

There followed another silence.

‘And it’s not as if it does you any good,’ Prudence continued eventually. ‘If you’re expecting me to explain, or apologise, I’m not going to do it, you know. I don’t feel I have anything to apologise for.’

‘I never said I expected an apology or an explanation.’

‘Then I won’t give you either.’ Prudence bit down on her toast viciously. ‘This is delicious jam, by the way,’ she spoke with her mouth full.

‘I’m glad you like it.’ Claudia got up to refill her coffee cup and when she returned to the table she said, ‘You were going to tell me about your other adventure. With the tour guide.’

‘Pierre.’

‘Yes.’

There was a pause.

‘Well?’ said Claudia, with as much bad grace as she could muster.

‘You don’t want to hear.’

‘Oh for God’s sake! Now who’s being coy?’

‘Darling.’ Prudence replaced her cup with care upon its saucer and leant over the table towards the person who until very recently had been her closest friend. ‘You – really – do – not – want – to – hear. I could tell that right from the word go. You did not want to hear about my little fling with Signor Martini either – you were totally disgusted. It’s a problem you have. In fact I think it is the problem you have.’

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Claudia did not meet her eye.

‘Sex, darling. Sex, in all its raw, animal reality. You do not want to know. You hate hearing about it, you hate thinking about it, above all you hate having to do it. Well, it’s none of my business but I can only say you don’t know what you’ve been missing. What you are missing. Most of us don’t get the chance after a certain time in our lives. For some reason sex doesn’t happen to anyone over thirty-five, as anyone under thirty-five will tell you.’

Prudence picked up her cup again and watched Claudia over the rim.

‘I only told you about Martini in the first place because you asked, you may remember,’ she went on, replacing the cup without drinking from it. ‘It’s what happens when you’re on holiday. It’s harmless.’

‘Not to his wife.’

‘He did not like his wife and she did not like him. That was obvious from the start.’ She lifted her cup again. ‘It wouldn’t surprise me if our little fling didn’t put some of the spark back into their relationship. It’s what happens in this crazy world.’

There was another pause. Prudence drank her coffee.

‘More toast?’ Claudia offered.

‘No, thank you,’ said Prudence.

Prue’s problem, thought Claudia in the silence that followed, is she thinks she has a monopoly on truth. And because she is the way she is and I am the way I am, I am the one on the receiving end of her ‘truth’ in a way that she never is on mine. Whoever thought she was my friend anyway? We could not be more different – we see things differently, we have different priorities, different ways of leading our lives. What earthly right does she have to tell me how I should conduct my life, even bring up my children? How dare she!

What does it take, thought Prudence, to get this woman to fight back? She exhausts me. Why is it I’m the one who ends up talking nonsense? What makes us think we’re friends in the first place?

‘Did you really have an affair with Dougie?’ asked Claudia at last.

‘I don’t have affairs, darling, I have one-night-stands. Someone needed to comfort the poor man.’

Claudia turned to look out of the window.

‘Whatever makes us happy,’ she said, and that was the end of that conversation.

 

Author Bio –

Patsy Trench lives a quiet and largely respectable life in north London. Claudia’s story shows a side of her normally shy and reserved nature that is little known, even to her friends and acquaintances. Her previous books, about her family’s history in Australia, are entertaining and informative accounts of that country’s early colonial beginnings. She began writing late, and in a previous life she was an actress, scriptwriter, playscout, founder of The Children’s Musical Theatre of London and lyricist. When not writing books she emerges from her shell to teach theatre and organise theatre trips for overseas students. She is the grateful mother of two clever and grown-up children, and she is addicted to rag rugging and, when current circumstances permit, fossicking on the Thames foreshore for ancient treasure.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.patsytrench.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatsyTrenchWriting/

Twitter:  @PatsyTrench

Instagram: claudiafaraday1920

 

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