The title story came from my own experience as a waitress at a Holiday Inn. I was pregnant, feeling sick and had to wear a smiley badge whilst serving customers with scrambled eggs. “What if?” I thought, “what if a young girl finds herself serving her long lost father, who flirts with her because he doesn’t know who she is, and all the time she has to Smile?” What if? The question one always asks onself. Another story, called “Making Hay”, features a coach driver. He stuck in my head and refused to go away, so much so that I had to write a whole novel for him (“Driving in the Dark”).
A wonderfully entertaining and astute collection of short stories about life today. Deborah Moggach’s stories take as their subject modern marriage and the modern family. In a world of plastic SMILE badges, devout news-agents peddling porn magazines and bleak estate houses gadgeted like spaceships, men and women come together, draw apart and find out, in between, that there is much room for deception and discovery.
“Deborah Moggach can fit a complex idea onto a postage stamp…the tales in “Smile” are ordinary human crises, described tersely, compassionately, and with a wit as dry as the Sahara.”