Author: Wendy Perriam
Year of publication: 1981, Futura edition 1982
Back cover blurb: Frances is on a fertility drug and sizing up the milkman. Charles is struggling between shocked disapproval and guilty desire for his own illegitimate daughter - a fifteen year old secret who arrives and takes over the nest. Their sterile and rule-ridden marriage (where even sex requires timetable and rule-book) begins to fall apart. In desperation, Frances flees to her feckless lover, Ned, and in trying to use him as a stud, finds she is used and abused herself. By then, the cuckoos - and the cuckolds - are really coming home to roost!
Quick flick reveals: This second novel by oft-published author looks exactly like the sort of sexually exuberant British comic novel I like (and write, on occasion). After all, how can you resist a story that begins: 'Typical of Charles to decant his sperm sample into a Fortnum and Mason's jar. Empty of course, but it had contained gentleman's relish...' It all seems enjoyably twisted, and I'm definitely going to give it a read.
Random paragraph: 'A couple strolled by, the young bearded father pushing a pram. Charles would never be a pram-pusher, but at least he could try to be a father. He'd done it once, for God's sake. But that was more than fifteen years ago, and with a Hungarian Earth Mother. Perhaps his sperm was tired now, worn out after years of jet-lag and tax conundrums. Or maybe she herself was too small, too cold, too old, and sperm only stirred themselves for hot Hungarian wombs.'