4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2010
I `discovered' Helen Simpson a few weeks ago when one of her short stories appeared in the Guardian magazine. It so completely blew me away that I immediately started to track down her other books and stories.
`Dear George' is a collection of short stories which explore various themes including pregnancy, child rearing and family discord, mainly from the female perspective. There is a petulant teenager who is caught out by an act of kindness, a desperate and overdue pregnant woman, a mother who finds family life to be unlike she expected and a nasty surprise for a authoritarian father on Christmas day.
There is a strange magic to these stories. Simpson deftly waves her pen and creates relationships and situations which are both realistic and recognisable, but without the reams of prose required by many authors. It's refreshing and fascinating, but above all it's a joy to find someone who creates real female characters facing everyday situations and frustrations. None of your neurotic Bridget Joneses or wan Cinderellas here! I would thoroughly recommend this book to any woman reader and probably a few men too. We need more of this sort of insight on our book shelves.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2000
I love this book - I've read it over and over again. Simpson's stories are so perceptive, warm and funny. My particular favourite is "Heavy Weather", about a mother with two small children. It's about the sheer weariness and exhaustion involved in motherhood, and yet it manages to be humorous at the same time. To anyone with children it will be immensely familiar. Some of the stories show a wonderful flight of fancy - there's a great one about a bully of a father who takes a pill and turns into a wild boar.
A great book. When's the novel out?