So everybody knows I like to read “mommy reading club” novels because they explore and work through women’s fears (and also they are junk food for the brain, which is great), right? But what about books in the same genre that are written and protagonized by men? They are rare but they exist.
I found one such author, and it’s fascinating because his books offer a list of men’s fears. Obviously, the readers are all female and they couldn’t care less about male concerns, so the novels have to be very well-plotted to appeal to the female readership. The author’s name is Mark Edwards and his male characters are terrified of
1. The wife’s in-laws.
2. Eastern European immigrants. Which are the only immigrants it’s still ok publicly to despise (the author is British).
3. Finding yourself in the same space with people of a lower social class (again, British).
So far I’ve read two of his novels (I’m on vacation, so I read a lot of trashy stuff): Here to Stay and Follow You Home. The latter is absolutely hilarious because the male protagonist makes a horrific, life-changing mistake of not booking an expensive sleeper compartment on a train he and his girlfriend take to travel through Europe. Instead, he buys cheap seats that force him to sit next to some Romanians. Who are all criminal freaks, of course. Even after the poor guy gets back home, evil Romanians overtake his life and pollute the wonderful, peaceful UK. As I said, it’s total garbage bit that’s what makes it fun to read. It’s like looking into the shadows of the collective subconscious. I don’t recommend the novel but I do recommend Here to Stay about evil in-laws.