Charlie Matthews’ love story begins in a pebble-dashed house in suburban Bolton, at a time when most little boys want to grow up to be Michael Jackson, and girls want to be Princess Di. Remembering the Green Cross Code and getting out of football are the most important things in his life… until Auntie Jan - who everyone says looks like the blonde one out of Bananarama – gives him a gift that will last a lifetime: a seven-inch single called 'Lucky Star'.
On his ninth birthday, Charlie discovers Madonna, and falls in love. And this obsession sees him through some tough times in life: being persecuted at school; fitting in at a posh university; a glamorous career in London; finding boyfriends; getting rid of boyfriends; growing up; and family heartbreak. Madonna’s music and videos inspire Charlie, and her fierce determination to succeed gives him the confidence to do the same. Ultimately, though, he must let go of his reliance on his idol and learn to find his own voice.
When Matt first started talking to publishers about this book, he was told that it was too working class, too Eighties, too immersed in pop culture, and too gay. But Charlie’s is a story that anyone can empathise with. It’s Billy Elliot meets Beautiful Thing with added pointy breast plates – a story for anyone who ever sang their heart out, looked for love, dreamed of more, or wanted a Soda Stream more than anything else in the world.
The Madonna of Bolton will make you laugh, cry and Get Into the Groove. It’s a book to Cherish and a Ray of Light, and it even has a little Hanky Panky.
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