Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Tiny Bit Marvellous - Dawn French

Very marvellous if you ask me! I really enjoyed this novel.

About the Battle family, it is narrated from the viewpoints of Mo, the mum, who is on the cusp of her 50th birthday, Dora, teenage daughter on the verge of her 18th birthday, and 16 year old Peter aka Oscar, teenage son. Mo is a child psychologist, cue lots of misunderstandings with her own children, mainly her daughter. Mo is worried that she has suddenly become old and grey, and lacking something.
Dora first comes across as a bit annoying but then I began to feel for her as all the insecurities and pressures of being a teenage girl came through in her portrayal. She is very much a teenager of today, updating her facebook page all the time, worrying about her appearance, feeling pressures from all around.
Oscar was my favourite character, his chapters were so amusingly written, so witty and enjoyable, as Peter adopts a persona akin to his hero Oscar Wilde, including renaming himself Oscar.

Other key characters, who we hear about through Mo, Dora and Oscar, are Pamela, Mo’s mother and the kids’ grandma, and Dad, who also has one chapter in his own voice near the end of the book. Pamela proves to be a wise old lady, offering sage and pertinent advice to her daughter, son-in-law, and to both grandchildren, who all find tea, cake and sympathy when they visit her. At times they all feel she is the only one to understand them.

This is an enjoyable read, funny and witty at times as you might expect given the author, but also moving, touching and real, with some great characters to love and/or hate!

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