Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Guest Post - Sarah Marie Graye - Bookish World Cup - Argentina

The article is written by Beth, who is a character from The Second Cup.

"Every four years I become a football supporter. The only time I pay any attention is during the World Cup.

But it's not, as it is with many of my friends, to support England in yet another hopeless attempt to relive the glory of 1966. For me, it's to support Argentina.

I didn't even witness the 1986 "Hand of God" goal that Diego Maradona scored against England - although I saw it hundreds of times from as many angles in the highlights while my Dad watched with mild disappointment. (He was always more of a cricket fan.)

But my Mum came alive with hysteria.

She's someone who's always seen football as "22 men chasing a pig's bladder around for 90 minutes", but she was outraged. Why was she suddenly showing a loyalty to the national team that she'd never done before?

Except she wasn't.

"Hand of God?" she gasped. "How dare he take the Lord's name in vain."

And that was it. My fate as an Argentinian supporter was sealed.

Do I feel guilty about supporting them? Well of course I do: if you're brought up Catholic you never get to escape Catholic guilt! But I've learned to revel in it - to enjoy the feeling of "being naughty". 

Eating your dessert first and risking it ruining your appetite? Check.
Crossing the road without waiting for the green man? Check.
Supporting the football team who cheated and then made it about religion? Check!

They're up against Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in the group stages which, for the Argentinian team of 86, would be a breeze. But their 6-1 loss in a friendly against Spain suggests there could be trouble ahead. I'm not too worried though.

The best thing about supporting a team for all the wrong reasons is that you don't really mind if they get knocked out!"

Thank you so much Sarah Marie Graye and Beth for taking the time to talk to me about one of the most annoying ways England ever went out of the World Cup! 

Amazon UK

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did. 

FAYE knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he's taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward - and whether or not Jack's best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack's death ripples through the lives of her friends too. 

ABBIE finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor OLIVIA is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack's death has hit BETH the hardest, even though she never knew him. 

Is Beth about to take her own life too? 

This is dark chick-lit and intelligent women's fiction at its best. Perfect for fans of Maggie O'Farrell, Elizabeth Strout, Dorothy Koomson and Amanda Prowse.

About Sarah Marie Graye

Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie's childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing... until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It's a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.

Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor's scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel - about family, friendships and mental health.

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