Just a few days ago, the Chick Lit for Life podcast released an episode where they talk about White Feathers! For those unfamiliar with the format, it is the creation of the genius LC Lewis, who manages to voice six fictitious Irish zoomers chatting about books written by female and non-binary authors. (I have no idea how the hell she plans out these tangential conversations, while managing to get in some impressive research!)
They started out with Marian Keyes’s back catalogue, then moved on to Jane Austen, at which point I discovered the podcast’s existence and was so in pain from laughing at their Mansfield Park episode that tears were rolling down my cheeks. And then when they moved on to Pride and Prejudice and mentioned “Mr Collins cruising for bitches”, I had to retweet that with high praise.
A few series back (I forget which year because, well, pandemic) The Girls covered Lucia’s War, and now they have turned their attention to White Feathers. There is a special place in my heart for the protagonists of my debut and hearing them being discussed made me feel quite emotional. Listen out for:
- Where Catherine and Grace might have been coming from and the need for survival that drove their motives. I had done a fair bit of research but the depth to which The Girls discussed it was impressive. (I modelled Catherine on Phyllis from Dermot Bolger’s The Valparaiso Voyage – that character scared the crap out of me!)
- One of the girls being ambivalent as to whether, as per her Kindle notes, “Mr Shandlin is a complete ride” or “red flag much?” His dispatching of fledgling Brexiteer Rhona Lewis’s argument against to learn any “foreign” literature is highly praised though – “That was fire. Seriously, Katie, I thought you’d be bet into this bloke!”
- “We haven’t even got to the war bit yet! But when we get to the war bit, we need to discuss Sybil on her motorbike, OK?” Sybil on the sidecar of Roma’s motorbike shouldn’t be sexy but is.” Also that Sybil and Roma are a wonderful success story and Sybil is the actual best friend that every girl needs to have. Or would be if she wasn’t so rich.
- McCrum: “if you’re well enough to give me lip, you’re well enough to go and kill some Germans” 😀
- Portrayal of distressing PTSD and breakdown being a bit close to home, “he went all Natalie Portman from Black Swan”. I was interested when they said that people disappearing with no evidence of being there “would fuck up your reality”. It gives a new meaning to his angry declaration to Eva, I’m alive, I’m real. Who is really being addressed?
- hashtag GermansInWorldWarOneArePeopleToo
Have a listen and enjoy!