About the book
A few months ago, Emily and her husband sold their house in the city and bought a place in the country. But Emily didn't know that it would sometimes feel like a move to another country altogether. Moreover, with Matt working in the city from Monday-Friday, and only coming home to her and the kids at the weekend, Emily is suddenly plunged into the world of a 'weekend wife'. With all the obstacles . . . and secrets . . . that brings with it.
About the author
When someone asks me where I get my ideas, I tend to joke: ‘I’ve no idea’. My standard response to any question about my work is glib since I find it excruciatingly embarrassing, like talking about my underwear or boasting about my children).
But it’s a lie. I can pinpoint, almost to the exact moment, where the ideas for all my books have come from. The sources may very vary from casual conversations to newspaper articles, but it’s always a very precise prompt to the thoughts: ‘what if…’, ‘wouldn’t it be weird…’, ‘if that happened, what would happen next?’.
Take my new novel The Weekend Wives. I was talking to some friends who’d moved from London to a village near York, who were telling us about their new thriving social scene. Greg, the husband, casually mentioned that in almost all the families they had met there, one of them (and it was usually the man) worked somewhere non-commutable from the family home. He himself spent three days a week back in London, for others it was further afield, even abroad.
And then, the little ping in my head: how would that affect your relationships, what sort of secrets would it breed between you, would it lead to misunderstandings, affairs, breakdown or could it leave your marriage actually stronger? With these thoughts even came a putative title, Woes of the Weekend Wives (changed, eventually, as it sounded too gloomy with the woe bit).
Another lightbulb moment came one evening when I was reading a young adult novel out loud to my son. As a second-rate mother, my mind is often not entirely in the present moment and as the words trotted out of my mouth I found myself wondering what would happen if you were reading a children’s book out loud and you realised as you did so that the story was very specifically about some secret in your past that only one other person knew about. This ‘what if’ became the central narrative for one of the weekend wives, Tamsin, who does just that.
Antigone in my previous novel The A-List Family is the child of very famous celebrity parents. I’d been doing far too much of that work-avoiding activity, looking at the Mail Online and other pap-filled websites, and one night, half asleep I found myself almost dreaming about a girl who has grown up with this sort of uninvited (well at least uninvited by her) attention and scrutiny. What must that be like, I sleepily wondered.
Really that’s one of the joys of being a writer. As Nora Ephron’s mother once told her: ‘everything is copy’. I can chat to friends, distract myself with trivia on the internet, be reading with my children and it can all count as work. Well, at least that’s what I tell myself…
My thoughts on the book
The Weekend Wives, new novel by Christina Hopkinson is pure genius and hilariously funny, and is a great light hearted book. It features a group of women who's husbands work away from home, each woman having their own story and issues. With the summer here It would make a brilliant 'on the beach read' and I highly recommend it, if it sounds like your thing.