Home Truths, by David Lodge, is an excellent story that takes place in a cottage near London when Diana’s holiday with Dodi Al Fayed.
This fascinating novel is about the tensions between private life and public interest in contemporary culture, being the main characters three old university friends (two of them, a couple) and the journalist from the media circus Fanny Tarrant.
Adrian Ludlow, a novelist with a distinguished although slightly faded reputation, is living in semi-retirement with his wife, Eleanor, in an isolated cottage beneath the flight path of London’s Gatwick airport. Adrian had become a celebrity with his book “The Hideaway” (an A level text) some years ago, but now, he only publishes anthologies, having given up writing novels because he can’t bear criticism. His wife Eleanor scans the pages of the sensational newspapers every day, and usually reads Fanny Tarrant’s interviews in the Sunday Sentinel.
One day, their old friend from college days, Sam Sharp, who has became a successful screenplay writer, drops in unexpectedly on the way to Los Angeles. Sam is furious as well as worried because of a profile of himself, by Fanny Tarrant, in that day’s newspaper.
Fanny Tarrant is a heart-less journalist who writes devastating reviews in the Sunday Sentinel. She attended a convent boarding school, at a time when Adrian Ludlow was her teenage idol and “The Hideaway” remained her personal bible at university. Now, Sam Sharp is her latest victim. As a result, Sam and Adrian, plan together to take revenge on the journalist, although Adrian is risking what he values most, his privacy. Adrian must interview her when she thinks she’s interviewing him, in order win the game.
This book is beautifully written and full of vivid descriptions. The plot, although a bit slow and boring at the beginning, then changes, giving an unexpected twist almost at the end.
I thoroughly recommend this book because it’s a highly entertaining novel which also gives us a message to reflect on.