Sussex Drive by Linda Svendsen
A novel

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Sussex Drive doesn’t have the depth of feeling Svendsen previously achieved...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A startingly funny and deeply satisfying satirical novel that makes the Canadian political scene accessible from the female perspective, behind the scenes at the top of the hill.
 
Torn from the headlines, Sussex Drive is a rollicking, cheeky, alternate history of big-ticket political items in Canada told from the perspectives of Becky Leggatt (the sublimely capable and manipulative wife of a hard-right Conservative prime minister) and just a wink away at Rideau Hall, Lise Lavoie (the wildly exotic and unlikely immigrant Governor General)—two wives and mothers living their private lives in public.
Set in recent history, when the biggest House on their turf is shuttered not once, not twice, but three times, Becky and Lise engage in a fight to the death in a battle that involves Canada’s relationship to the United States, Afghanistan and Africa. The rest of the time, the women are driving their kids.
 
From Linda Svendsen’s sharp and wicked imagination comes a distaff Ottawa like no other ever created by a Canadian writer, of women manoeuvring in a political world gone more than a little mad, hosting world leaders, dealing with the challenges of minority government, and worrying about teen pregnancies and their own marriages. As they juggle these competing interests, Becky and Lise are forced to question what they thought were their politics, and make difficult choices about their families and their futures—federal and otherwise.

 

About Linda Svendsen

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Linda Svendsen's linked collection, Marine Life, was published in Canada, the United States and Germany and her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Saturday Night, O. Henry Prize Stories, Best Canadian Stories and The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Marine Life was nominated for the LA Times First Book Award and released as a feature film. Svendsen’s TV writing credits include adaptations of The Diviners, At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story, and she co-produced and co-wrote the miniseries Human Cargo, which garnered seven Gemini Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award. She received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006. Svendsen is a professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. She was born in the riding of Mount Pleasant and raised in Coquitlam-Moody.
 
Published October 2, 2012 by Random House Canada. 368 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Sussex Drive
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Linda Diebel on Nov 30 2012

Under Svendsen’s deft touch, Ottawa politics are dirty and dangerous, at home and abroad.

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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Jeet Heer on Nov 09 2012

Sussex Drive doesn’t have the depth of feeling Svendsen previously achieved...

Read Full Review of Sussex Drive: A novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Jeet Heer on Nov 09 2012

As the balls quickly move from hand to hand, Svendsen rarely falters. The one major problem I had was the characterization of the prime minister, who was much more oblique than the other protagonists.

Read Full Review of Sussex Drive: A novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

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