May 3, 2013 by aoifebrennan
‘The Cougar Diaries’ is an erotic novel, but not as we know it.
WHATEVER YOUR FEELINGS on 50 Shades of Grey, it’s a publishing sensation that’s sparked spoofs and copycat titles worldwide.
One Irish writer wanted to offer her spin on the whole thing but with a more realistic approach.
Aoife Brennan’s The Cougar Diaries is out now as an eBook and we had a rummage through it. There is plenty (PLENTY) of sex of all kinds, but we’re going to leave that to your imagination. Our favourite thing about it is the rather Irish spin on things.
Here’s some of the most Irish moments in the book:
1. An unsuccessful date with the local butcher
Divorcee Aoife is the book’s heroine and tries to get back into dating.
Early on it all goes a bit pear-shaped however and she tells us about an awkward date with her local butcher.
We’d actually bumped teeth when he’d tried to kiss me at the end of a limp awkward evening. Of course, that meant I had to change my butchers afterwards too. Things your mother never told you, I said to Trish. The list of things had been growing at an alarming rate. Never date your butcher would be number one. Now I had to go to the less impressive butcher at the other end of the village, or use the supermarket.
2. Supermarket love is a no-no
If trying to find love with the local butcher wasn’t enough, Aoife also has an unsuccesful date with a Tesco manager. This is getting even more Irish.
Sadly after some unsuccessful fumblings (don’t worry, Aoife more than makes up for it later) it doesn’t work and Aoife is left in an awkward position.
That put Tesco off limits, on Monday through Thursday anyway, and my boys thought me mad as I often travelled the half an hour journey to Dunnes Stores instead.
3. “Your figure is great!”
Aoife is not happy with her early dating mishaps and best buddy Trish reassures her by saying:
‘Stop! You’re a gorgeous creature. You’ve hardly a wrinkle on your face. Your figure is great and you are a fun person.”
Telling someone their figure is great is as Irish as telling them they’ve a nice rig-out on, hearing that their glamorous dress is in fact from Penneys or having your mum ask if you’ve read the death notices.
4. “Some woman”
Aoife has a bit of raunchy fun with a visiting DJ (far from DJs she was reared says you) who after seducing her in his romantic house in Galway (!) tells her she’s some woman.
Basically, this happens:
I blushed and looked away. “‘This is some house,”’ I said. “And you are some woman,”’ he replied
(We are now working on our own “bonkbuster” where the male lead tells our winsome heroine that she is “a fine buere all the same” and “would be great with the cattle”.)
5. Aoife reads TheJournal.ie
Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland
While wearing an “electric blue wrap dress” and waiting in Dublin’s Cafe En Seine (Ooh, fancy) Aoife kills time by reading things on her phone.
By drink number two I was almost in tears. I’d had exhausted my emails on my phone, I’d even sent surfer dude a message, I’d checked Facebook, but resisted tweeting my location since it was a little out of the ordinary and read several fascinating articles on TheJournal.ie.
6. Irish coping mechanisms
With a rather messy divorce on the cards Aoife resorts to using a very typical coping mechanism.
Feck. Feck. Feck
7. Self aware pop culture references
Jeffrey Boan/AP/Press Association Images
Irish people are quite self aware and will take the piss out of anything.
So even if you’re writing a sexed up tale about a woman exploring new erotic territory you can still make reference to your competitors
I’d googled kinky sex on my phone and of course I’d read that ridiculous 50 Shades book, but I was neither an innocent virgin and nor did I have too big eyes and perfect skin.
8. We don’t talk about sex the way we talk about the weather
Aoife rightly points out that we don’t talk about our sex lives quite as quickly as our national hobby The Weather
It wasn’t really water cooler conversation I decided. “‘I say, when were you last tied up and spanked?”’ wasn’t on quite the same level as “‘Dreadful weather again isn’t it?”’
9. Far flung locations
Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Because this is a glamorous and exciting tale Aoife visits places outside her Dublin home. Not only does she end up on a saucy trip to America she also visits the bustling hotspot that is County Carlow for rugby related shenanigans and a brief dirty weekend in Galway. Wonderful.
10. Some things are too dirty to ever happen in Ireland
Aoife’s visit to San Francisco is more debauched than we could ever reveal here but her discussion of it afterwards is so very Irish it’ll make you want to fashion your own shamrock necklace.
Trish nodded. “‘Good job it all happened beyond the Pale and indeed outside the country.”’
I laughed. “‘Do you really think that could have happened inside the country? No way.”’
11. Ireland’s greatest street
Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland
As Christmas approaches Aoife remembers her dad’s knack for picking out decorations with a fond reference to Ireland’s ultimate destination for Christmas things, Moore St. Incredible.
12. Irish house party
At one point Aoife decides to throw a party and faces that age old Irish quandary: Do I have enough alcohol?
The house was bulging at the seams. I didn’t know half the people and hoped they had all brought some booze.