'THE MRS MARRIDGE PROJECT' - Faber & Faber
Half way through a school friend’s funeral, fourteen year old Elin has an epiphany. Life’s too short to waste on school - she wants to get married! Using her GCSE syllabus as a model, Elin embarks on a covert operation to be married by the time she’s sixteen - a quest that will take her from the Arctic Circle to the wilds of southern Ireland. As she researches sex, ways of becoming a ‘Woman of Maturity’, and how to analyse men using Microsoft Excel, she discovers that transforming from A-grade student into A-grade wife is tough - particularly when everyone thinks she’s going mad.
But Elin’s not the sort of girl to be put off - even when the guy she picks up on the Internet turns out to be anything but Mr Right…
After my ‘Children of Plynlimon’ books I found myself wanting to write something that would make me laugh. And halfway through a relative’s funeral [hardly the most appropriate place, I know] I came up with the idea for ‘The Mrs Marridge Project’.
My heroine, Elin, doesn’t actually end up married at the age of sixteen, but like many young modern women she wants to know what it’s all about. What else has she got to look forward to, she asks herself, faced with what feels like nothing but endless tests and exams, and the prospect of spiralling student debt? Is getting an education worth being put through all that? And do exams and careers have anything to do with the real purpose of life?
Full of wild ambition, Elin’s determined to find out. She‘s fearless in her approach and makes some terrible mistakes. But then, in the name of freedom of choice - that, and self-discovery - what else can she expect?