1960s Melbourne, Australia, is the setting when we first meet ten year-old Henry. His interest in girls soon shows as he progresses through school, university and onto a career in law. His hedonism is characteristic of the era, when new-found sexual freedoms were explored and experimentation was rife.
Henry is an interesting mix – ready to use his fists or take any action necessary to protect a friend, but tender and thoughtful in an intimate setting. He can accept and understand other inclinations too. Women are strongly attracted to him. Marlene is one of them, younger, an incomparable beauty with an unquenchable desire to make use of all her assets.
Their lives become entangled with the lives of many others, initially in Australia, then in England, Morocco, Germany, Japan and the United States. Flashbacks to 1930s and 40s Europe introduce incidents and characters from this time too, indelibly impacting on the present.
First to Say it is an engrossing combination of action, romance and sex. It follows the lives of two baby boomers over three decades, whilst introducing numerous other characters and the twists and turns caused by their interwoven relationships and adventures. Everyone seems to have a secret, something quirky, discovered and fleshed out by the author. Is this what people are really like?
This lengthy novel perfectly slots into the growing genre of racy baby boomer literature, showing how seeking pleasure became accepted by an increasingly tolerant society. New-found freedoms were allowing people to more openly express themselves and what they wanted, to live their lives in ways that best reflected their interests and inclinations. Having fun was in.
A comment from the author
“I expect many people will say to themselves ‘that was me back then’ as they read through, whether the character is a Middle Eastern beauty finding sex the universal language, two high school girls holding their own biology lesson, a pre-teen making good use of her emerging bumps and curves, a transsexual having it both ways, a stuffy accountant reminiscing about a once-only back door entry, a young beauty attracted to her mostly absent father, a pair of teens cavorting in the rear seat of a car, or two young men rekindling a boyhood friendship and discovering one wants more than the other probably is prepared to give.
“Boomers enjoy reading about the lives of their contemporaries, to remind them how good the new-found freedom was, or what they missed out on. Henry personifies this era, a man for and of these times, handy with his fists, highly skilled behind the wheel in a high-speed car chase, kind and thoughtful in the bedroom. He has a lot to offer, and receives a great deal in return.
“Marlene is a stand-out, both in her looks and strength of character, a clear example of a strong woman, feminine and sexually enticing, but racing through life with a steely determination.”
Would you like a sneak peak?
Here are some sample chapters for you to enjoy: