Read Patrick Parker's Progress by Mavis Cheek Free Online
Book Title: Patrick Parker's Progress|
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Reader ratings: 6.3
The author of the book: Mavis Cheek
Edition: Faber & Faber
Date of issue: January 2004
ISBN 13: 9780571214495
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 33.26 MB
Read full description of the books:
This really is delightful stuff. With Patrick Parker's Progress, Mavis Cheek demonstrates once again that she is one of the wittiest and most enjoyable of writers, with a grasp of modern social comedy that puts many of her peers in the shade. Those who consider their dealings in love and sex to have been somewhat fraught will recognise many moments here.
The year is 1940, and the city of Coventry is in flames. One child miraculously escapes the flames, and is sent to London. This is Mavis Cheek's protagonist, the eponymous Patrick Parker, who has a shining future ahead of him. He is to be an architect in the vein of his idol Brunel, and build great civic structures. But things will not go as smoothly as Patrick might wish: his relationship with the determined Audrey Wapshott has seemed to be the perfect choice--she adores him, and their destinies appear to be interlinked. But Patrick then does the unthinkable--he dumps Audrey to take up with a woman who will be able to advance his career. Audrey leaves for Paris, and begins to forge a new life--and when Audrey and Patrick meet again, there will be significant changes ahead in both their lives.
As in the equally delightful The Sex Life of My Aunt, Cheek has total command of the pitfalls of human relationships--her characters (both beautifully characterised) bounce off each other in highly diverting ways, but not at the expense of a plausible narrative. Comic this may be, but it plays fair by its own internal rules. The observation here is spot on, and this is highly enjoyable fare. --Barry Forshaw
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Read information about the authorBorn in Wimbledon, now part of London, Mavis left school at 16 to do office work with Editions Alecto, a Kensington publishing company. She later moved to the firm's gallery in Albemarle Street, where she met artists such as David Hockney, Allen Jones, Patrick Caulfield and Gillian Ayres. In 1969 she married a "childhood sweetheart", Chris Cheek, a physicist, whom she had met at a meeting of the Young Communist League in New Malden, but they separated three years later. Later she lived for eleven years with the artist Basil Beattie. She returned to education in 1976, doing a two-year arts course at Hillcroft College, a further education college for women.
Although Cheek had planned to take a degree course, she turned instead to fiction writing while her daughter, Bella Beattie, was a child. She moved from London to Aldbourne in the Wiltshire countryside in 2003, but as she explained to a newspaper, "Life in the city was a comparative breeze. Life in the country is tough, a little bit dangerous and not for wimps."
Cheek has been involved with the Marlborough LitFest, and also teaches creative writing. This has included voluntary work at Holloway and Erlstoke prisons. As she described in an article: "What I see [at Erlstoke] is reflected in my own experience. Bright, overlooked, unconfident men who are suddenly given the opportunity to learn grow wings, and dare to fail. It helps to be able to tell them that I, too, was once designated thick by a very silly [education] system. My prisoners have written some brilliant stuff, and perhaps it gives them back some self-esteem."
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