After weeks of preparation, endless present wrapping and hours of cooking, Christmas is finally over. This is the time when everything goes quiet and nobody knows what day it is. Then we ramp up to the New Year and the infamous resolutions.
This Christmas has been rather different for me. Last year I won the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and my debut novel The Choice was published on Boxing Day. I’ve been working towards this for eight years, so you could say I’ve finally fulfilled a new year’s resolution. The fact that it didn’t happen overnight might be why so many of us fail at keeping our resolutions. The big ones, the ones that matter, take time and a lot of hard work.
If you’ve overindulged at Christmas your resolution might be to start a new exercise plan on 1st January; to cut out fat/sugar/carbs; to eat less and do more. The Choice takes this idea to an extreme and explores what happens when the government gets involved in decisions about our health and diet. It’s set in a world where sugar is illegal and baking is a crime and follows one woman’s desperate fight to protect her children’s future.
Imagine a world where everything you ate was monitored by the government. Every step you took was counted. You had to attend mandatory exercise classes and were weighed every time you went to the supermarket. What if your neighbours informed on you if you made the slightest mistake and no one was safe from judgement? What would you do? Toe the line or fight for freedom?
I drew on the real world for inspiration, there’s even my own version of a very extreme WI, called the Mother’s Institute, whose aim is to control and indoctrinate its members. Fortunately, it’s nothing like the real WI and I can’t wait to celebrate with my fellow members at my Waterstones book launch. It’s going to be so much fun and, of course, there will be cake.
The Choice by Claire Wade is published by Orion, £8.99 and is out now.
Piece first published in the EDP, 28th December
Get the inside scoop on the life of a WI member.