Poignant and hilarious in equal measure, Prime Time is stuffed full of likeable, realistic characters you can’t fail to care about - and it’s brilliantly written.
Laura Meredith finds it difficult to keep her emotions under control at the best of times, but since her husband, Daniel, abandoned her for the skinnier, younger and more glamorous Emily, she feels fat, old and unkempt and seems to be suffering from non-stop PMT.
She is worried about her son, Stanley, who is unhappy at school, worried about work and money, and worried that at 40 she’s over the hill and destined to spend the rest of her life alone.
Chuck into the mix her concerns about her best friend Charlotte’s previously rock-solid marriage and it’s fair to say Laura is in a pretty dark place. That is, until she is persuaded onto daytime television and catches the eye of a sexy producer, Cal.
Soon, a camera crew is following her every move as she embarks on a thrilling journey of self-improvement designed to hold back the years. But while the filming takes over her fantasy life, her real one is imploding - and just how sincere is Cal anyway?
It’s a pleasure to read about feisty, funny women with a fondness for pinot grigio and a few cigarettes - the sort of women you’d want to be friends with and will certainly be rooting for as they negotiate the indignities of the ageing process.
Prime Time is thoughtful, insightful and often laugh-out-loud funny. I raced through it and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.
Have you ever wondered how they make those reality shows on TV? If you have, then your curiosity will be satisfied by reading Jane Wenham-Jones's hilarious PRIME TIME.
From the Publisher
A pleasure to read about feisty, funny women with a fondness for pinot grigio and a few cigarettes - the sort of women you'd want to be friends with and will certainly be rooting for as they negotiate the indignities of the ageing process.
...thoughtful, insightful and often laugh-out loud funny
Read an Excerpt
Recent research has shown that the kind of male face a woman finds attractive can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For instance, if she is ovulating she is drawn to men with rugged, masculine features. Whereas if she is menstruating she is more prone to be attracted to a man with a heavy pair of scissors shoved in his forehead …
Ho bloody ho. I sit on my hands so I can’t punch the computer screen. Hilarious, these Internet jokes. Or they might be if not so close to the truth. I quite often imagine Daniel cowering in a corner, whimpering while I take a blunt instrument to him. Or the way he might look if I wiped away that supercilious expression by treading on it. Especially on Day 19. Day 19 of my menstrual cycle is when I am at my most malevolent and think my darkest thoughts. Then I write vitriolic letters in my head and fantasise about wreaking revenge on everyone who has ever done me wrong. It is when I smash crockery, forget things, scream, shout and eat four KitKats without drawing breath. It is Day 19 today and already I am …
‘Am I going to Dad’s tonight?’
Stanley appeared in the doorway in his school shirt and boxers. His hair, as usual, stood up in tufts. He yawned and wrinkled his freckled nose. ‘Do you know where my tie is?’
I gripped the edge of the keyboard. ‘No, I do not know where your tie is. It is wherever you left it, the same as it is every morning when you ask me, and yes, you are going to your father’s. We’ve been talking about it for five days. Since the last time you went, in fact. Which was last Sunday. When your father said he would pick you up this Friday, which is today, and you could stay the night with him and he would take you to the football match. You know you are going to your bloody father’s …’ I clapped a hand to my mouth and bit it.
Stanley’s face, which had lit up at the thought of 22 blokes kicking a bag of air, clouded again. ‘I hope She isn’t there.’
‘She will be,’ I said grimly, suffused with shame at swearing and giving my son’s future therapist even more material to work with. ‘She lives there.’
She is Emily, Daniel’s new girlfriend, who is totally welcome to him because I wouldn’t have him back if his was the last paunch on earth. She has set up home with him which I don’t care about at all. I do think, however, it smacks of indecent haste as far as Stanley, who has to visit them, is concerned. Them and their laminate floors and low black coffee tables and single lilies in tall glass tubes (I didn’t press Stanley for these details – he gave them up quite readily under cross-examination).
Stanley wrinkled his nose even more. ‘I can’t find my trousers either.’
‘Boiler!’ I got up from my desk in our tiny spare bedroom and stomped to the door in two paces. ‘They were muddy, remember? I washed them. I told you they were on the boiler to dry. I knew you weren’t listening … And why weren’t you dressed ages ago? I’ve got to get this lot finished today,’ I shrieked, jabbing a finger at the pile of paper teetering on the top of the ancient filing cabinet. ‘And how can I do that with you constantly interrupting me?’
‘All right. Take a chill-pill.’ Stanley sighed and plodded across the landing. He knows when it is that time of the month.
‘Keep it on,’ he called from the safety of the stairs while I kicked the waste bin. ‘Will you make me some toast?’
One, two, three, four, five. Breathe in and out. Adopt sing-song voice to disguise the fact I want to throttle him. ‘Yes darling,’ I trilled through gritted teeth. ‘I will make you toast even though you are 11 and a half and quite old enough to make it yourself. Even if I am right in the middle of a paragraph.’
‘You were doing emails.’
‘Work ones. When I was 11 …’
‘You got up at dawn to scrub all the floors, made breakfast for the whole family, did all the washing and walked through fire and flood 20 miles to school …’ Stanley poked his head back round the door and grinned.
I glared. ‘Just get ready!’