‘The Bus on Thursday’ by Shirley Barrett will appeal to those with a certain sense of humour, most likely a dark one. It opens with Eleanor Mellett discovering that she has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 31. After being dumped by her boyfriend, she gets a new job teaching at a tiny school in Talbingo (population: 241) in a particularly remote area of rural Australia. The previous teacher, Miss Barker, has gone missing in mysterious circumstances and the oddball residents are bewildered by her sudden disappearance. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Humour
My first review of the year was of Kate Atkinson’s debut novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum which prompted me to make more of an effort to read the back catalogues of my favourite authors. It therefore seems fitting to end the year with a review of Atkinson’s third novel ‘Emotionally Weird’ which was first published in 2000 and tells the story of Euphemia (Effie) Stuart-Murray and her mother Nora who live on a remote Scottish island. Effie is telling Nora about her life as a student in Dundee living with her Star Trek-obsessed boyfriend Bob. However, Effie also has questions about her family history and what she really wants is for Nora to disclose who her real father is. Continue reading
I have finally got round to reading ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ by Maria Semple which was the only book shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction that I didn’t manage to read before the winner was announced in June. It tells the story of Bernadette Fox, an award-winning architect who lives in Seattle with her husband, Elgie, who works for Microsoft and their teenage daughter, Bee. For various reasons, Bernadette loathes Seattle and one day, she simply disappears, leaving Bee to compile a series of emails, letters, police reports and other correspondence in order to find her mother. Continue reading
‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbons tells the story of nineteen year old Flora Poste who decides to track down her long lost cousins out in the Sussex countryside on Cold Comfort Farm after the sudden death of her parents. As soon as she is confronted by her strange relatives, Flora immediately sets about trying to change things on the farm with each character having their own particular problem that needs resolving. However, her modern middle-class outlook frequently clashes with the rural way of life as she helps them to adapt to the twentieth century.
I mentioned in a post recently that I wanted to re-read the Adrian Mole books (again) by Sue Townsend at some point as they must surely be amongst the funniest books ever written. I then realised that I hadn’t actually read the latest book in the series ‘Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years’. Set in 2007-2008 as the credit crunch looms over Britain, Adrian is approaching his 40th birthday and has settled down with his second wife, Daisy, and their daughter, Gracie. However, all is not well in Adrian’s life as both his health and his marriage are in a very fragile state. Continue reading