Thanks for the opportunity to promote my book.
"But Can You Drink The Water?" was a semi-finalist (top 50 out of 5000) in the 2010 ABNA contest and the Publishers Weekly reviewer described it as “Droll, witty and utterly British. What sustains this book, however, is the narrative voice, the dry and self-deprecating humor, and the ability of this author to tell a story simply and well.”
Set in 1988, it uses subtle observational humour, with an underlying pathos, to portray the upsets, hurt and changing family dynamics that emigration brings. It will appeal to fans of Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine, and to expats, and potential expats worldwide.
When Frank Turner informs his wife and teenage son they are emigrating from Liverpool to sunny South Africa, he is unprepared for their hostile response. His defiant son makes his own silent protest, and his wife’s assertion that “we never shoulda come” is parroted at every minor calamity.
The bewildered working-class scousers are thrust into an alien world of servants, strange African customs, unintelligible accents, and unexpected wild life (‘crocodiles’ on the wall).
Their uneasy interactions with Zulu servants, Afrikaner neighbours, and foreign officialdom exposes their naivety, but they each learn to cope in their own individual way; Mavis overcoming homesickness by hugging the knowledge that when Frank’s contract ends they can return home; Gerry’s sullen resentment giving way to love of the outdoor life, and Frank masking his own doubts with blustering optimism and bantering sarcasm.