Tuesday 28 August 2012

Basic Theology for Fallen Women by Frances Garrood

What a fabulous title!   I came across Frances Garrood's writing when I read The Birds, The Bees and Other Secrets back in 2009; a book that really did not get the publicity that it deserved, I loved it.

Her latest novel is Basic Theology for Fallen Women and was published at the end of June this year, in e-book format only, published by Thirst eDitions.  

I have never wanted a Kindle, I have over 1000 books on my shelves that I have yet to read and am perfectly happy being an old-fashioned type of girl and sticking with 'tree' books.   However, I did want to read Basic Theology and my partner recently bought an iPad, so I got him to download it for me and thought I'd give this e-reading a go!

Basic Theology for Fallen Women is a sort of self-help group, organised by the local parish priest.  The three members; Alice, Mavis and Gabs have really fallen in the eyes of the Catholic Church - each one of them is a  mistress, and the group meetings are designed to bring them back into the fold of the Church.

With nothing in common except their sins, these three women would probably never have met if it were not for the priest.  

Mousy Mavis who lives with her Mother Maudie and a venomous cat called Pussolini, single mother Alice whose long-time married lover is just about to become a father, and good-time girl Gabs.

These three fallen women form an unlikely but firm friendship, sharing their secret lives, their heartache, their frustrations and their inner-most fears.

Over the next few months, each one of them reveals their vulnerabilities and their hopes, feeling comfortable that only other women in their situation could understand them.

Frances Garrood writes with humour and sensitivity, there were times when I snorted with laughter and others when I gulped back a tear or two.  No erotica in this story, but a bit of raunchiness now and again.

The three main characters are drawn wonderfully well, no matter if you agree with their morals, you cannot help but love each one of them.

The women are backed up by a great supporting cast of characters, not least Mavis' mother Maudie who although ageing and confused at times, often hits the nail right on the head - adding some comedy along the way.

Frances Garrood
Funny, clever, wry and poignant - I enjoyed my time with the Fallen Women, and will look forward to reading more from Frances Garrood.

So, I've read an e-book and what did I think of the experience?   An iPad is very different to a Kindle - it's not as handy, or as portable but the Kindle App does allow one to see how the text will look on screen.

I do appreciate the benefits of a Kindle, I really do, especially for travelling, or for readers who have difficulty with sight or turning pages, but I'm not converted.  

I felt a bit lost without a physical book - I take my book everywhere and this just didn't seem 'right' somehow.  I missed having a cover, and blurb to read, I missed being able to flick back a few pages to check on something - I guess I just missed the 'book' really.

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