This post has been a long time coming! As you may recall, I was super excited to visit the totally fabulous Cherry Healey at her home back in December, to record a podcast with her. As yet, there have been many other more important folk to be broadcast ahead of me (I cannot compete with the likes of Stacey Dooley, Clemmie Hooper, Ellie Taylor, etc) – but I hope it will be live soon and obvs as soon as that happens I shall shout it from the rooftops with pride!
Anyhow, in the meantime, I am finally, finally getting around to publishing my review of the book where this incredible collab all began! Allow me to introduce:
Letters to My Fanny Review
I think there’s only one place to start with this, right? It’s near-on impossible to ignore a title that bold and controversial. Well, prepare yourselves, because apparently Cherry does not do clickbait – she delivers on the implied promise of provocation. Although in fairness it’s probably not intended to be sexually so, it’s just very, very frank.
But for me, this book is all about feminism. Not in a ‘burn your bra’ way, but in as much as Cherry is tackling subjects which many consider taboo – and owning them. She talks about her personal flaws and her hopes and dreams for her children, particularly her daughter. There was so much I could relate to as a mother of a female toddler myself.
Cherry’s opening chapter is about, wait for it – masturbation.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may picked up on the fact that I’m… well, perhaps a little guarded about personal things. For me there’s a very definite line between what is and is not appropriate material for casual conversation. That by no means means I am anti certain things, just that I’m not especially comfortable being open about them: they’re private.
Cherry made me blush.
I know, how ridiculous? But – it was refreshing! The way she spoke made me challenge my own up-tighted-ness – why am I that way? Why shouldn’t we talk about something so natural? Why can’t I be more relaxed about certain subjects?
Honestly? Nothing really changed for me – I’m in my thirties and I am who I am. But nonetheless, I found it fascinating to be gently (or unashamedly if we’re being blunt) coaxed into analysing those parts of myself.
After that somewhat discomfiting chapter comes discussion about breasts and breastfeeding, body dysmorphia and the way we can inadvertently pass our own issues onto our children. There’s a lot packed into there that really made me feel like I knew Cherry by the end.
It was kind of like having a cosy chat over a bottle of wine, during which our (my) inhibitions were loosened so we could just be straight forward with each other.
Having enjoyed some tea with Cherry – but only that – I can confirm that probably this is exactly the kind of chat we’d have with a bottle of wine. She just has a way about her of putting you at ease and drawing out secrets; which, I imagine, is why her TV career has been so successful.
If you love the woman as much as I do, her book is well worth a read.
Head over to my hub round-up post for more home and lifestyle reviews.