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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Was Silvia?
This second novel by Dawn French is easy to read but in the early parts difficult to interweave the various contributions of the narrators into a cohesive piece of work. Persevere, it is worth it. Silvia Shute has fallen three floors from a balcony. She is in intensive care in a coma on life-support including mechanical ventilation. She is the younger sister of the...
Published on 25 Oct 2012 by ACB(swansea)

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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dead as a Doornail
Dawn French has a great concept. Silvia lies in hospital in a coma. Her family and 'friends' come to visit her and, whilst sitting with her, recall old memories and reveal their inner secrets. Their lives have all been influenced by Silvia in one way or another and we learn more and more about their pasts as the visit count increases.

The problem is that the...
Published 19 months ago by Carl Spencer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear Silvia, 28 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Hardcover)
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I have to say i was disappointed in this book. I had enjoyed Dawns previous book so expected this one to be at least as good ... i was wrong. I found it to be pretty boring with some very occasional moments of interest. I found i didn't really care very much about Sylvia and whether she lived or died or had an enormous secret or not. She seemed to be a very selfish and not particularly nice person to most of the people in her life. It was an interesting way to look at a person through other peoples eyes but only if they are interesting and the person they are describing is interesting will it work. Unfortunately i found no-one in this book to be of interest, and some of the characters were really caricatures rather than realistic people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear Dawn!, 28 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Kindle Edition)
I really wanted to like this book as I think Dawn French is so clever and witty BUT I did not like the way it was written at all. I get that Silvia seems cold and selfish and as the book unfolds you see that she had her reasons to protect her family by keeping her distance but there was just something contrived about the whole thing. I read it through to the end but it was and effort not an enjoyment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy read yet subtley deals with the bigger issues, another great book by dawn french, 15 Nov 2012
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Mrs. J. L. Barkley (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Hardcover)
although through the way this book is written it seems like just another easy read, it surprisingly sneaks in, along with a lot of humour, some deeper thoughts and themes. Without giving anything away, the ending brought me to tears and highlights the relationships between family members and those we love, whether they deserve our love or not. As i heard Dawn say in an interview the British often find humour in our darkest times and the book demonstrates this beautifully. Enjoyed dawn's previous books but this has to be the best so far, she has obviously found a style she is comfortable with but it seems that she is becoming more confident with each book, can't wait for her next novel, no pressure intended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French, 18 Dec 2014
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Antony Simpson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Paperback)
In Oh Dear Silvia, Silvia Shute is in a coma. Silva has a secret; a secret that’s led to the end of her marriage with Ed, a breakdown in the relationship with her children Cassie & Jamie and to her having a lesbian relationship with Cat. Each of the characters are convinced that they are the only one that can bring Silvia out of her coma.
The idea behind the book is a fantastic one, but any writer would struggle to do much with their main character being in a coma. French uses the other characters having conversations with an unresponsive Silvia to tell the story. It meant there was an awful lot of telling, rather than a good mix of show and tell. French was forced put the description into the conversations. At times it was overly descriptive and occasionally made the conversations feel unnatural.

I waited for the paperback of Oh Dear Silvia and it did take me a while to get into the book. But once I was

hooked, I found myself at night thinking: I’ll just read one more chapter before bed. Then staying up late to read three chapters.
The pacing of the story was excellent. However a source of frustration was the repetitiveness of Ed talking about trees. Oh Dear Silvia is exceptionally funny, with the laugh-out-loud comedy usually being delivered by Jo, Silvia’s New Age Hippie Sister. The reader will also enjoy Winnie, Silvia’s Jamaican Pentecostal Christian Nurse who is cleverly written as she’d speak.

As the reader gets to know the characters and what’s happened between Silvia & them, a secret is slowly revealed. A dark secret that’s truly stupendous.

The reader comes to understand Silvia’s choice to cut off her family, that it was to protect them. Empathy develops for Silvia that leads to an emotional ending. The book did end prematurely, it would have been interesting to have seen the characters reaction to the revelation of Silvia’s secret.

Everything considered, Oh Dear Silvia is a mixed bag. It got lots of great aspects that you’ll enjoy, but it really is an easy read that’s intended for light entertainment. It is worth a read, but don’t expect for the story to be memorable or to cause you to think.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dear Sylvia - Disappointed, 14 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Kindle Edition)
I love Dawn French ...... as an actress. I was so looking forward to downloading my FIRST Kindle book (Kindle was my Christmas present)So, after all the faffing about, setting it up and creating an account, Dawn's book was my choice. As with any book, the first few chapters are getting to know the characters and the story. Sorry to say that Dawn didn't do this well and the reader had to pick up other bits of information throughout the book. The characters hadn't been thought out thoroughly enough. To be honest, there were some little funny parts in it but it was a bit of let down. Dawn's PR agents did a damn good job of promoting the book but she should stick to acting.... which she excels at.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious Book, 3 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't finish this. I found the format of internal monologues of people visiting a totally non-responsive subject very unrewarding. It has occasional flashes of humour (as you would expect) but this did not compensate for the slightly hysterical and wholly unconvincing premise of the novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I especially loved the character of Joe her sister, 4 Dec 2014
This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Paperback)
This is the first Dawn French book I've ever read, It wasn't the kind of book that I would usually go for but I thought I would give it a try. At this point I must mention that the book in question was an audio book. The Actors who read each character really did make each character come alive with their individual personalities. Maybe if I was reading it to myself then it may not have had such a strong impact. I especially loved the character of Joe her sister, who had totally lost the plot with her ideas of trying to get through to her comatose sister, as well as the Tia, her cleaner who used to read articles out of the latest magazines. In fact all the characters seemed to intertwine and perhaps lead you down the garden path with their individual opinions of Sylvia and not until the ending of their visits and conversations does a more truer character of Sylvia emerge. I thoroughly enjoyed this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear indeed..., 17 April 2014
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Paperback)
The concept is good and the characters, on paper, should be intriguing and make for a riveting read... instead I felt the novel lacked that something vital which draws the reader in makes them connect with the plot.

I felt the 'hinted at' sub plots could have been developed further e.g. silvia's relationship with cat, cat and her husband, Silvia's family life etc.

Certain characters seemed rather pointless... the sister and the cleaner.

It was a book that I waited and waited for to get good but unfortunately it never got there!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly boring, 9 April 2014
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Kindle Edition)
I found it difficult to care about any of the characters so the story line didn't grab me. Skimmed most of it as there is also quite a lot in each chapter that isn't pertinent to the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could not finish it!, 17 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Oh Dear Silvia (Kindle Edition)
I like Dawn French but not this book. Very disappointing. It is a long time since I have not finish a book that I have started!
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Oh Dear Silvia
Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French
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