Welcome to my contribution to the blog tour for Sara Crowe’s debut novel, Campari for Breakfast. I guarantee that, if you’re a similar age to me, you will know who Sara is – given that she advertised a certain soft cheese that was… ‘lavlay’ (go on, you remember), and given that she’s accomplished such a great deal in her career as an actress, it seems hardly fair that she should also write such a charming and funny first novel!
It is 1987 and Sue Bowl, age 17, has moved to Green Place in Egham to live with her Aunt Coral, as her mother, Buddleia, has recently committed suicide. Sue’s father has also taken up (and rather too soon in her opinion) with Danish Maneater, Ivana.
Sue is an aspiring writer but, finding that there is very little support for writers in Egham, Aunt Coral enlists the help of her companion, Delia (who says ‘Fuck’ in her sleep), her lodger, The Admiral (who is happy sleeping in the un-heated East Wing as he is used to the outdoors) and Joe, Sue’s admirer from work.
The novel is told in extracts from Sue’s diary, from the work of the writing group and sections of Aunt Coral’s ‘Commonplace’ – her scrap book kept over 60 years – and throught them we begin to make sense of Aunt Coral, Sue and a big family secret.
As I said above, Campari for Breakfast is just a charming novel. There are funny moments – provided by the writing group, and Sue’s use and misuse of a wide variety of words, but there is also sadness as Sue and Aunt Coral try to make sense of Buddleia’s suicide. There is a deliciously nasty enemy in Sue’s nemesis, Loudolle and Icarus, the object of Sue’s affection. I think we’ve all had an Icarus at Sue’s age!
As this book review is part of the Campari for Breakfast blog tour, excitingly, I have a copy of the book to give away to one lucky winner. All you have to do to win is fill out the Rafflecopter widget below:
Don’t forget that the blog tour is ongoing, so please do visit some of the other lovely hosts.