Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lisa Heidke Claudia's big break

In Lisa Heidke's Claudia's big break (ISBN9781742374918) Claudia, just about to turn 39, is sent off to Greece by her boss, Marcus. She's supposed to deliver a jump drive and some papers to his partner, Con, in Athens, then she can have two weeks holiday, paid for by Marcus. She decides to take along two old friends, Tara and Sophie. Sophie has a young son, Levi, who accompanies them.

When the girls set off from Brisbane, she encounters a hunky young man, Jack from Yackandandah, at the airport and it turns out he's going to Greece as well.

Well, that's how it starts. But Claudia's been bonking the married (but separated) Marcus on the side, Con is a con, and Marcus's business is going down the tube. Not that any of that's apparent as our girls whirl into Athens and party like they were eighteen again.

Claudia sets out to find Con and deliver her goods, but she winds up in a dodgy place and a little messed around.

No matter, Santorini is next on the agenda, and who should be there but Jack. He ends up placing Claudia in handcuffs and marching her off to a Greek police station, because he's really a private eye hired by Marcus's wife to find out the truth.

Meanwhile, Marcus has deposited $20,000 into Claudia's bank account and as she is so in debt to her credit cards, it looks like she's (almost) free of debt at last (some of it inherited from a former boyfriend George who left her in the lurch -- Claudia's life ain't lucky).

Then Tara is on with the English lawyer Angie and Sophie's husband Alex arrives ...

Phew! Yes, this is breathless Heidke territory again. Fun, and funny. She sends up thirtysomethings something terrible, but not cruelly. Claudia is her own worst enemy, and she knows it.

By the end of the book, it is not clear that she and Jack are going to get it on (they do get it on once in the book, but Jack kind of wrecks that with his handcuff trick -- not that it wouldn't have worked at the right time), but at least they are friends.

Friendship is the strength of this book. Claudia, Tara and Sophie are old school and university friends. They know each other well and love and support each other. In less refined hands, they could have remained bimbos, but Heidke loves her characters, too, though she know their foibles and pretensions well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ethics and life writing

Life writing requires some ethical considerations. Many of these will be covered in the course ENCO309/509 Writing non-fiction: Interpreting the truth that I will teach in second semester 2012.