Today I’m pleased to welcome Anoushka Beazley to BrizzleLass Books as part of the blog tour for The Good Enough Mother, she has written a great guest post about how The Cruicible and The Salem Witch Trials inspired her novel. Read on for more and don’t miss out on the fantastic giveaway at the end of the post!
Gatlin – a leafy, affluent town: Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch. However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman. Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan…unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin. Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical and hilarious black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.
Parallels by Anoushka Beazley
The Crucible by Arthur Miller was first published in 1953, based on the Salem witch hunt of 1693. It was the age of McCarthyism; cold war communist paranoia, and Miller used the politics of the day to draw important parallels with the politics of the play. In 2016 I found myself using the names of the characters in The Crucible as callers and host in the three narrative radio segments of my own novel The Good Enough Mother. Later I wondered what had led me to do this.
America was fearing the strength of the growing Soviet Union after they tested the atom bomb. With strong eastern European allies and the Communist army gaining control of mainland China, a virus of suspicion pervaded America. Communism was a huge concern for the government; key state officials and members of the public were discovered as double agents, and the fearful reaction to this espionage was seen most notably in the hearings led by Senator Joseph McCarthy himself where unlawful charges without reason or evidence were made.
In The Crucible, Salem is a religious community under attack by the witches of the forest. False, unsubstantiated claims are made against young girls thought to be witches and their innocence is determined at a trial comprised of men and women already convinced of their guilt.
In The Good Enough Mother, Drea is suspicious of the world around her and has isolated herself like an island in a sea of mothers and motherhood, with a wider distaste of humanity at large. Claims are made against Drea in an investigation led by a police officer who, despite wearing a badge of propriety, is baselessly convinced of her guilt. Her offbeat partner plays the part of McCarthy’s dissident communist (and Salem’s evil witch) who, although the less obvious morally sound choice, is the protagonist’s ‘good cop’ protector. Drea must prove her innocence in this investigation where no evidence exists to rightly accuse her, despite her own indiscretions. She herself is deeply paranoid and it is perhaps as a result of this malignant myopia that she finds herself quickly on a downward and escalating spiral. There are also less obvious machines at work in Drea’s condemnation. Ava’s goodness operates as a constant narrative reflection of Drea’s negation of herself. Papa’s perversion serves as a general depravity which lurks within her home, but also as part of her. She is the daughter of a degenerate, his genes are hers. And the women of the town – the other mothers – are judges uninterested in the facts. They will decide on Drea’s guilt based on social standing, class, marital status, and common principles. Drea is an Asian in a white community, raising a step-child rather than her own child, feeling financial and social atrophy, abandoned by her partner with a frowned upon reliance on alcohol and weed.
It always fascinated me that Miller, the man who wrote a play about society’s fear of the feminine, was at one time married to Marilyn Monroe, one of the original femme fatales who, behind the façade, was so broken – just like Drea.
About Anouska Beazley
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Book & Buy Links
Title: The Good Enough Mother
Author: Anoushka Beazley
Genre: Drama | Fiction
Publication Date: 9 July 2016
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | Foyles | Waterstones