Delighted today to be joining the blog tour for Invisible Women by Sarah Long, published in paperback on 5th October by Zaffre. I really wish I could have read this one – it’s always good to find a book featuring those women of a certain age that so many of us can identify with.
Sandra has a naughty secret.
Harriet has been ditched with her ailing mother-in-law one time too many.
Tessa is desperate for distraction after her youngest flies the nest for uni.
With the big 5-0 around the corner, isn’t it about time they put themselves first?
After Tessa responds to a late night Facebook message from an old flame, she finds herself impulsively waiting at the airport for a plane from New York. Will it reunite her with The One That Got Away, or land her in a heap of trouble?
And is this the long-awaited moment Tessa and her friends grab their lives back and start living exactly as they choose?
A sharp, irreverent and very funny novel for grown-ups.
With thanks to the publishers, I’m pleased to be able to feature an extract:
Sitting alone in her kitchen, Tessa compared her own life to her mother’s. Not so different, after all. ‘Find a job you can go back to after the children,’ her mother had urged her, harassed and bored in her apron, sweeping away the debris of another family meal, the grey perm and pleated dirndl skirt confirming that her life as a vibrant woman was over. Tessa’s hair was carefully maintained at a constant chestnut brown and she was better than her mother at disguising middle-aged spread beneath layers of black cashmere. She had achieved what her mother had wanted for her: a university education and a career where she was taken as seriously as a man. If she had subsequently found that sitting at a City trading desk was less appealing than bringing up her children, then good for her. Her mother couldn’t argue with that, it was a rational and human decision, and hadn’t Tessa learned from her example that a mother’s hands-on love was the richest gift you could offer? Anyway, Matt could earn enough for them all.
Keeping busy, that was the key. Tessa pulled a cookbook down from the shelf and opened it at the page she had bookmarked earlier. She could get ahead now with the caramelised oranges, they’d keep in the fridge, then Maria could clear up the mess before she left. She selected a Japanese knife with a lethal blade from the block recently reinstated on the countertop. After the break-in, and the discovery of the largest carving knife abandoned on the study floor, they had taken to hiding potential weapons in a cupboard. But you soon forgot, and the boastful Global 11 piece kitchen set was now back in pride of place, challenging the next intruder to do his worst.
Tessa removed the skin from the oranges, then painstakingly cut away the pith between each segment, producing a dish of perfect crescents ready to be steeped in the sugar melting slowly on the hob. You could just slice them across but that wasn’t good enough, not when she had time to do things properly. The sugar had turned brown now and she took the pan to the sink to add a splash of water, watching it spit and hiss, then poured the caramel over the oranges. There, that was ready, one thing less to do tomorrow, getting ahead was the secret of being a successful hostess. When she was in the Girl Guides, she had been awarded her hostess badge, proudly sewing it on to the sleeve of her uniform. A kind woman had quizzed her about the steps the hostess should take when receiving guests, which mostly involved opening the window to air the spare bedroom and offering cups of tea. These days the stakes were higher, she had her reputation to think of, everyone agreed she was the most marvellous cook and she clung to this with almost comic pride, as though her raison d’etre depended on the quality of her menus. I cook therefore I am.
Yes – I rather like the look of this one!
My thanks to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for including me in the tour, and for her support with content. Find the other tour stops here…
About the author
Sarah Long is a London-based author of two previously published commercial fiction novels – And What Do You Do? and The Next Best Thing – and one hilarious memoir about her ten years living in Paris. She is a married mother of three.