Nadine Dorries’s debut novel The Four Streets reveals a telling amount about the Conservative MP and her upbringing.
The semi-autobiographical account of her working class Liverpudlian childhood extols one Tory buzzword throughout: ‘aspiration’.
The feckless Irish immigrants had a hard time making ends meet in Fifties Liverpool, but the smell of success in the docks spurred them on to a higher plane of materialism and individualism.
How else could a poor Merseyside girl have pulled herself out of poverty to gain a Conservative seat in the heart of Middle England?
Politics aside, the book, which was released yesterday, has already been called “the worst novel I have ever read” by one Telegraph critic.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect, sex scenes and all:
1) The virtues of capitalism are extolled just two pages in
Post-war Merseyside “smelt of concrete new towns and Giro cheques”.
2) The seeds of Thatcher-like individualism were first planted in Merseyside
‘No two front doors in close proximity were painted the same colour. Even in the homes that could boast nothing in terms of material wealth, individuality fought to be expressed and admired.’
3) Consumerism is appealing
'Every single day something new and never seen before arrived in the shops, from Mars bars to Hoovers. No one knew what exciting product would appear next.'
4) Aspiration was not the sole reserve of the middle classes
‘Like many of the men on the four streets of Mayo, Jerry had arrived in Liverpool from Mayo, hungry for prosperity and advancement that weren’t to be found in rural Ireland.’
5) Keeping up with the Joneses was alive and well on Liverpool’s industrial estates
‘Bernadette strove to be different. From the day they married, she learnt how to sew and cook, acquiring any skill she could master to keep them one step ahead.’
6) Lust at first sight was also alive and well...
‘Holy Mary, he thought to himself, where the feck has me sensibility gone and why is me hand shaking like a virgin on her wedding night, spillin’ the bleedin’ tea.'
7) ...But an Irishman is always careful not to spill his Guinness during sex
'He might have been about to have sex for the first time in two years, he might have been angry and lost all reason, but he wasn't going to spill the Guinness.'
8) Sex before marriage is tempting, even for well-behaved Catholic girls
‘Not being able to run up the stairs was driving them both mad with desire…Suddenly, being alone in each other’s company in the close proximity of a bedroom was becoming an almost unbearable temptation.
'Bernadette would never stay over-night and the pressure built to an almost unbearable pitch.’
9) Well-behaved Catholic girls never really wanted to be well-behaved
‘The wedding reception carried on way into the early hours, long after their marriage had been consummated a number of times.’
10) We meet Mr Clegg, an undertaker
A veiled reference to the fate of the coalition Government if ever there was one...
The Four Streets by Nadine Dorries published by Head of Zeus is available now priced at £10.