The Spin Doctor’s Wife: Infertility, Infidelity and Infamy
Clovelly author Theresa Miller writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships in her new novel The Spin Doctor’s Wife, set against the backdrop of the Eastern Suburbs.
The story is a lively and insightful take on marriage, infertility, and success in 21st century Australia. It follows the story of IVF-crazed Megan and her PR spin doctor husband Laurie, and what happens when they cross paths with Carla, a singer looking to revive her career.
“A lot of the inspiration for the setting came from sitting in cafes around the Eastern Suburbs for hours as I worked on my early drafts,” Ms Miller told The Beast.
Originally from Adelaide, Ms Miller was immediately converted, falling in love with the Eastern Suburbs’ connectivity and incredible lifestyle.
“At first I wasn’t all that impressed, but now I love it. I love the beaches and the coastal walk and that I can leave my car and walk to yoga or a café. It’s very friendly, and I can see the ocean at the end of my street, which is beautiful,” she said.
Despite having lived in both London and Switzerland, this love for her adopted home is reflected in the book, which heavily features Bondi and Bronte beaches, as well as Bellevue Hill – places rarely represented in popular fiction. It was this underrepresentation that also motivated Ms Miller to set her fiction in Australia.
“I think it’s really important for Australians to have their own culture and scenery reflected back at us,” she told The Beast.
Ms Miller began her career in journalism and is now a media coach and journalism lecturer. She published her first book, Making Babies: Personal IVF Stories, back in 2007.
While IVF wasn’t the initial inspiration for The Spin Doctor’s Wife, its inclusion adds a dose of authenticity to the book’s characters and will be recognised by readers as an issue often experienced but rarely novelised.
In following the story of Megan’s infertility, The Spin Doctor’s Wife also considers the many demands placed on women in the 21st century, exploring the struggles women face to get what they want. Ms Miller hopes it echoes Sheryl Sandburg’s saying, “Women can have it all but not all at the same time.”
The Spin Doctor’s Wife also highlights how PR can shape the news and public opinion – something Ms Miller knows first hand having worked as a TV reporter, radio producer and now media spokesperson trainer.
“My generation was led to believe that we could have it all, but that’s a real fallacy, and you just can’t do everything,” she told The Beast.
The book has proven so far to be a perfect read for book clubs as the choices of the characters feel so relevant and are perfect for sparking lively debate.
“That’s why I feel this book is such a good book club read, because everyone has such a different opinion on how these characters should go about getting what they want,” she said.
The Spin Doctor’s Wife is a homegrown page-turner in which local readers will find not only their own neighbourhood, but also similar questions and challenges that they face in their own lives. It is available to purchase at Harry Hartog Bondi Junction and online at Booktopia.com.au.