Karori Con­fi­den­tial: Se­lected Columns by Leah Mc­Fall (Lun­cheon Sausage Books) $25

The Southland Times - - Weekend -

There has al­ways been a lot to love about the weekly columns Leah Mc­Fall writes for Sun­day mag­a­zine straight outta Karori – ar­guably the most sub­ur­ban of all Welling­ton city sub­urbs. So it was great news when the awe­somely named Lun­cheon Sausage Books pub­lished a col­lec­tion of around 60 of her se­lected columns in one handy book, Karori Con­fi­den­tial.

Just as Se­in­feld is said to be ‘‘a show about noth­ing’’, Mc­Fall’s

columns aren’t re­ally about any­thing, other than the minu­tiae of do­mes­tic life; de­tails of the daily grind of a 40-some­thing woman that would usu­ally go un­re­marked upon, if not un­ob­served.

She ex­plains the ra­tio­nale be­hind the col­umn in her in­tro­duc­tion to the book: ‘‘There’s such com­edy in the neu­ro­sis of the mid­dle-aged woman and the con­stel­la­tions of her life with kids, teach­ers, the fam­ily doc­tor, the till op­er­a­tor at her lo­cal su­per­mar­ket, neigh­bours and work­mates… It’s not much but it’s enough… I feel very strongly that th­ese women… de­serve to hear about their un­sung lives.’’

From plas­tic surgery, to or­gan­is­ing con­sul­tants, to dress­ing up for the school run, her columns reg­u­larly ex­pose ridicu­lous but per­sis­tent cul­tural ex­pec­ta­tions of women.

Mc­Fall is not only a wise fem­i­nist who looks out for other women, she’s a nat­u­ral co­me­dian and a good no­ticer, com­mu­ni­cat­ing her per­sonal strug­gles, joys and fears over re­la­tion­ships, ag­ing, kids, houses, work, and her firm views on the royal fam­ily, with ir­rev­er­ence and heaps of jokes at her own ex­pense.

Hav­ing no ‘‘cred­its in the Bank of Cool’’, Mc­Fall is happy to ac­quaint read­ers with her weak­nesses – whether they be the leaky state of her post-baby blad­der, or her love for all things minia­ture. ‘‘Even now I’m torn be­tween fin­ish­ing this col­umn and leaf­ing through my Syl­va­nian Fam­i­lies cat­a­logue,’’ she notes.

Many of her dilem­mas will res­onate with Welling­to­ni­ans es­pe­cially, who will ap­pre­ci­ate the fu­til­ity of keep­ing any kind of hair style go­ing in this town and are still

get­ting to grips with swanky David Jones usurp­ing our beloved Kirks – though that’s not to say those liv­ing out­side the cap­i­tal shouldn’t pick up Karori Con­fi­den­tial. They should. Funny is funny.

Fin­ish­ing this book feels a bit like you’ve en­joyed a good long laugh with a smart friend. The columns tra­verse a mas­sive amount of ground – from Lulele­mon leisure wear to chap­ters on Marie Kondo and Kirstie All­sopp (a per­sonal high­light for me) – re­mind­ing us that there aren’t any bor­ing sub­jects, only bor­ing writ­ing. And you won’t find any of that in here.

– Sarah Chan­dler

Mc­Fall is not only a wise fem­i­nist who looks out for other women, she’s a nat­u­ral co­me­dian and a good no­ticer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.