This week I’ve been reading:
Anne Armitage is nearing 50 and is feeling pretty unhappy with her life despite her new very expensive kitchen and comfortable house in London’s oh-so middle-class Dulwich Village, having left her adolescence in deepest darkest Blackpool a long way behind. Her husband Paul is more interested in his work as a hospital consultant and playing golf with ‘the boys’ than he is in spending time with her, while her almost-grown-up sons, Nat and Jools, are turning into arrogant, unpleasant young men after a privileged upbringing wanting for little. Then Anne gets a call to say her mum Jean has had an accident and is in a critical condition in hospital up in Blackpool. She takes the train up to see her mum and is immediately hit by memories of where she grew up and her family’s unspoken secret past.
But this is not just Anne’s story. Although Jean lies in a coma, oblivious to the world around her, she is able to look back on he life through her memories, and bit by bit we piece together Jean – and Anne’s – past and uncover some surprising – and shocking – secrets.
On the face of it, this isn’t a book I’d think I’d particular enjoy as I can’t really identify with any of the characters, in terms of age and experience. But despite this, I found myself hooked on Jean and Anne’s story. Each chapter gives you another piece of the family’s jigsaw and I wanted to get to the end to be able to fit them all together. What makes this book so readable is comedian Jenny Eclair’s writing. At times it’s angry and dark, but it’s also funny and endearing – a bit like Jenny herself I imagine! Don’t miss this interesting and surprising read.
Check out our ‘F phone’ chat with Jenny in tomorrow’s issue of the mag.
This week I’ve also been reading:
After finishing Jenny’s book, I needed something a little lighter – so I picked up Janet Evanovich’s latest. Fans of her popular Stephanie Plum books will be familiar with Janet’s fun, pithy style – and this doesn’t disappoint. Wicked Business is the second in her Lizzy Tucker series about a pastry chef with super-human abilities. Lizzy, her attractive but off-limits partner Diesel and her hapless friend Glo have to ‘save the future of mankind’ by tracking down an ancient relic before Diesel’s sinister cousin Gerwulf can find it. This was a great antidote to a long day at the office and had me grinning all the way home. Yes, it’s a bit silly, but it’s lots of fun!
What did you think of these books and what are you reading at the moment? Let me know on Twitter @FabFrosty, or on Facebook. See you next week!