When the film Calendar girls was released several years ago, I remember thinking that it was very funny but that it probably couldn't be bettered. That was until I read Fiona McAndrew's book Fantasies from the Kitchen Sink. Fiona is a new Romantic comedy writer who writes in a style that is quite similar to Jilly Cooper crossed with Victoria Woods. She is humorous, enchanting and adventurous. Her words flow with an easy to read style and I was able to complete this collection of short stories in 2 hours because I couldn't drag my eyes away from the screen. I think this was because the story was so compelling.
Fantasies From The the Kitchen Sink is a story about the adventures of an ex-stripper called Fifi who makes a fortune writing her memoirs, and then moves to the genteel village of Dorking. She takes a cardboard cut out of Jean Luc Picard with her, and under his dictation she goes about causing chaos at the women's institute.
First she gets the old men, who accompany their wives to a talk by Fifi, high on marijuana brownies and then she teaches the old ladies how to pole dance. And then after she causes all this chaos, she just jets away to Los Angeles to have a glitzy party with the stars.
After this point, however, things don't go very well for Fifi. She loses her house because she has spent all her money, and has to return to her North East Home.
This story is a fun read and is full of laugh out loud moments. My favourite bit is when Estelle the drag Queen tells Fifi's long lost love, to "Go away", as he drives up in his limuosine, possibly to rescue Fifi from her new-found state of poverty. I thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Garden Party, too, and my favourite character was Fifi's gay German agent Luka. His karaoke moment was hysterical.
The book ends with Fifi contemplating her new memoirs on a Los Angeles beach, and it offers a promise of more revelations about Fifi's scandalous past, and possible future to come. And... I have heard on the grapevine... that fun could possibly include Fifi's adventures with the leader of a very posh but unpolitically correct,right wing, political party as he battles to be Prime Minister of Great Britain in the next election, with Fifi at his side, teaching him how to commune with common people.