Maggie Alderson has worked on nine magazines and currently has a weekly column in the Times. She lived in Australia for 8 years, returning here in 2001. Her first novel, PANTS ON FIRE was a UK bestseller, and she was a co-editor of the charity anthology BIG NIGHT OUT. She is married with a baby daughter and moves a lot.
Readers may be tempted to start laughing before they even open Maggie Alderson's latest book Mad about the Boy. From her track record of seriously witty works, you'd be forgiven for expecting anything Alderson writes to be bursting with hilarious subject matter and quirky insights. However, while these qualities do shine in Mad About the Boy, they are accompanied by some serious pain; a pain that pervades the early part of the book despite attempts to quip it away. When we first meet the heroine, Antonia, there isn't much for her to laugh about. She has just found out that her husband, who has recently relocated their family from England to Australia, has also decided to relocate his sexuality, leaving their young son with two daddies and one distraught mother. This topic could easily be botched by either superficial or overly earnest treatment. Instead, Alderson delivers a page-turning story, thanks to her honest narrative and fabulous characters (everyone needs an Uncle Percy, and her portrayal of Sydney's social set is brilliant). So, while it may take a while to adjust to an Alderson with more to share than just giggles, the end result will be the same. In short, chances are that you'll be mad about the girl. Michelle Atkins is a freelance writer. C. 2002 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors