Culture Street

Books

A Surrey State of Affairs

On December 12, 2011

Ceri Radford is a writer and journalist. She has written for the Daily Telegraph and the Times Literary Supplement. She began writing a blog about the undisputed queen of homemaking, Constance Harding. Radford’s blog (which began in 2008 at the Daily Telegraph) gained quite a following moving on to develop into her first novel, A Surrey State of Affairs.

Written in diary format Constance Harding draws us into her comfortable little life through her delightful blog. Constance lives in the Home Counties occupying herself with upstanding community activities such as bell ringing, party planning, baking and matchmaking.  However soon the idyllic life she adores begins to crumble bringing about the gradual decline of the farcical family Constance holds so dear. Her children simply refuse to toe the line, which leaves a mortified Constance re-evaluating her life. He daughter looks like a strumpet as she delves into the banality of reality television. The Lithuanian housekeeper's underwear keeps mysteriously appearing in her husband’s study and her son simply refuses to bring home a girlfriend. As scandal threatens to darken the halls of her picture postcard home Constance embarks on her own journey to Argentina where the surrounds are more rugged than croquet lawn.  

Radford’s genius for comedy is apparent in her first novel. She is a fresh new voice and an astute observer of life. Let’s hope we hear more from her.

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