Join Esther Freud to talk about our March Book of the Month, Lucky Break, Tuesday 27 March 9-10pm

(121 Posts)

I am thrilled to announce that March's writer is the stupendous Esther Freud, who started out as an actor (specifically, as an alien in Doctor Who: Attack of the Cybermen) and then went on to write Hideous Kinky, and followed it up with seven more books, including The Wild and The Sea House. In her latest novel, LUCKY BREAK, Esther explores the theatrical world with piercing insight (and a lot of insider knowledge, given her own training and her marriage to David Morrissey).

The story starts with a gauche, anxious group of students at their first day at Drama Arts. Nell, who is no red-carpet queen, feels destined to a lifetime of character parts. Charlie, however, believes success is only her due. Dan has to overcome private fears and the demands of a family to reach his ambition. All of them are made interesting and likeable - no mean feat, given the luvvieness and often ludicrous behaviour of thespy types - by Freud's observant and sympathetic writing. And it is often very funny too. As the Observer put it, 'it is to Freud's immense credit that she has made a profession threaded through by fakery appear so indelibly and excruciatingly real.'

Read more about the book at our book of the month page, plus you can see what the Telegraph says here

The generous folks at Bloomsbury have 100 copies of the book to give away to Mumsnetters. To claim yours, please go to the book of the month page and fill in your details.

We'll post on the thread when all the copies have been sent out but if you're not lucky enough to bag one of those, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here

Esther Freud will be joining us to talk about LUCKY BREAK, acting, writing and all her novels, on Tuesday 27 March, 9-10pm. So whatever you want to ask and whichever of her books you've read, do come and join us.

Look forward to seeing you all then, and keep posting your thoughts and any advance questions on this thread...

culturevulture Wed 14-Mar-12 18:35:32

My copy arrived today so I wanted to say thanks as I'm really looking forward to reading it.

A lovely surprise when I got home from work smile

Not here yet, but I only got Monday's post today, so suspect it might be another day or two!

bigbadbarry Wed 14-Mar-12 19:06:33

I missed a delivery today because it was too big to go through the letterbox. I'm not expecting anything else - is it huge?

balletpump Wed 14-Mar-12 20:17:46

Mine came today- lovely treat after dreadful day at work smile Bigbadbarry it is a big parcel so probably is what they tried to deliver. About to start it now- looking forward to it! Thank you and also for the stuff inside for puzzle mad DS

JasperJohns Wed 14-Mar-12 21:50:57

I was wishing mine would arrive today as I have a long and boring day at hospital tomorrow.

But it didn't!

JaneMare Thu 15-Mar-12 09:53:12

my copy has just arrived, HUGE envelope and the activity sheets will be well rec'd by DD

thanks smile

tigercametotea Thu 15-Mar-12 11:49:42

Mine arrived today.DCs loved the activity sheets! I will be trying to source some of the children's books advertised in my local libraries.

NoraHelmer Thu 15-Mar-12 13:12:10

My copy arrived today. Thank you MN. DD's going to love the activity sheets.

I finished last week, and now rather missing it. It was a great book to have waiting by the bed at the end of the day.

I'm plotting a sequel in my head. Charlie is going to become Nell's personal guru, and get her hooked onto Kabbalah. Nell will then decide to have a set of IVF twins with her girlfriend (she's ditched the director) using Pierre as sperm donor. But can't figure out if Dan is actually going to be unfaithful or not. What does everyone think? Is he or is he not going to make that leap?

Teaddict Fri 16-Mar-12 18:14:50

Am desperate for Nell to get the Mary film role, don't tell me, don't tell me!

yUMMYmUMMYb Sat 17-Mar-12 10:58:30

Got mine during the week and heading on holiday to remote cottage for the week so looking forward to nights by the fire reading it, please let it be good.

ProfCoxWouldGetIt Tue 20-Mar-12 09:28:05

Just over half way - and loving it, my mum has already asked me to hurry up and read it so she can borrow it.

She started reading it when she stayed over for mothers day and got hooked.

ProfCoxWouldGetIt Tue 20-Mar-12 09:29:08

BTW - just wanted to say thanks to the brilliant person who thought to include the activty sheets. Keeps DD busy while I curl up on the couch and enjoy the book - Thank you so much!

EstherFreud Tue 20-Mar-12 14:58:09

Hi everyone, really looking forward to talking to you all on 27th march. Till then, best wishes and enjoy the sunshine.

NoraHelmer Wed 21-Mar-12 07:49:20

Now that I've finished reading Lucky Break, my question for Esther Freud would be - was Nell semi-autobiographical? She was the only character who came across as likeable and I think that it was because she cared about her friends and appeared grounded and didn't really display any of the self-centered behaviour of the others. I felt sorry for Dan's wife, having lost her chance of an acting career and then having to watch Dan distance himself from his family.

Hullygully Wed 21-Mar-12 11:42:38

I read it all in one go on a plane. Jolly good, enjoyed it very much. Although I'm not that keen on this modern lark of leaving gaps and making the reader work out what's happened. I would have liked it twice as long. Too much George Eliot at a young age.

MayCanary Wed 21-Mar-12 16:42:41

My question: Is Charlie's transformation supposed to be taken at face value? It seemed a bit unlikely and out-of-character to me.

kandinskysgirl Thu 22-Mar-12 13:29:16

I've just finished it, however I wasn't expecting the end to be the end so was disappointed when I realised it was finished. Like Tilly I started making up endings for characters straight away, I thought Dan's wife might go on to write a brilliant screen play whilst he would have an affair.

I did enjoy it although I found some bits slightly confusing, but I think that was me not noticing I had jumped time periods and I do like books to tell me exactly what is going on <lacking in my own imagination>.

I felt quite removed from the majority of characters like I was peering in the window at them rather than really knowing them (with maybe Nell as the exception) was this a narrative technique done on purpose at all?

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 22-Mar-12 16:04:03

Hello Esther, I've read and enjoyed many of your books. Unlike the work of many authors, they (nearly) all have very different settings and periods and often styles. Has it been a deliberate choice to make each book quite different or can you simply not help where your imagination takes you? And do you think your publishers would prefer a more predictable output?

Thanks to everyone for their posts so far - and a quick nudge to anyone else who wants to put their question to Esther... The more that are up here beforehand, the more we'll be able to get through on the night as Esther will have time to prepare. So keep 'em coming.

Very very much looking forward to it. See you all on Tues.

AgnesCampbellMacPhail Sat 24-Mar-12 19:14:35

I loved itsmile

Jemma absolutely writes a screenplay and becomes the new Carrie Fischer and pisses off Dan (the now has-been) by refusing to allow him to capitalise on their talented snd lovely children.

Nell just gets more awesome and happy because happy is under-rated.

The Stanislav method made me howl with derision. I suspect the theatre is not me.

ProfCoxWouldGetIt Mon 26-Mar-12 08:31:42

Finished my book on Friday morning, and I loved it - I'll definitely be looking for other books that Esther has written

I can't help but wonder if you deliberately left the ending of the book quite open so that we, the readers, made up our own endings for the different characters, as you can see we've already been doing.

I do wish Jemma had gone on to be famous, but managed to juggle her family life better than Dan did (I really did not like him at all), and eventually gacve the miserable sod the boot.

I found Charlies support of Nell at the end, really humbling, it was lovely to see that she had recognised what a great friend Nell had been.

I loved Nell's perserverence, even though she never made the 3rd year (at what sounds like a truely bizzare drama academy - was any of that based on real life) that she stuck with it and never felt a roll was beneath her when trying to make her way to the top.

Thanks for a fantastic book, I really struggled to put it down.

AlmaMartyr Mon 26-Mar-12 15:14:53

I finished this last week and really enjoyed it although I found some of the characters quite unlikeable. I was so happy for Nell when she got the role.

It did make me wonder whether the big name actors are ever the talented ones or just the ones that get the lucky break. What does Esther think she obviously knows that world?

I wasn't sure if Charlie's makeover was genuine but I like to think so, she seemed much happier. I hadn't thought before about how just a short spell of bad skin could mess things up for an actor, unless that was just Charlie's neurosis. It made me feel quite sorry for her though.

The drama school seemed crazy and run by people who were pretty nasty at beat but it seemed to be quite prestigious. Since some of the people who stayed amounted to nothing and some of those that were kicked out were successful, it made me wonder if there's any point to going to a prestigious drama school or if they'd have been better off saving their money and jumping straight in?

Sorry my questions aren't terribly clever or articulate, exhausted after a weekend with sick DCs!

AlmaMartyr Mon 26-Mar-12 15:16:04

Oh, I meant to say thank you for the book, I haven't read any of Esther's books before but will be looking out for them now.

southlondonlady Mon 26-Mar-12 15:58:37

Hi Esther, I liked the book a lot. At the end it says that you interviewed lots of actors while you were writing it. Is pretty much everything in it based on a real person / situation?

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