9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
David Nobbs at his best,
This review is from: Going Gently (Paperback)
Having just finished reading this wonderful book for the third time, I am once again left completely satisfied by the read and yet utterly bereft to have reached the end.
As another reviewer observed, Nobbs hits precisely the right note of intertwining comedy/tragedy as two sides of the same coin. Kate was a witty, charming and deeply lovable character, seemingly able to hold her own in any situation, except perhaps in the area of her heart. The accounts of her various relationships/marriages are described to perfection, each quite different, yet all profoundly moving, illustrating the fact that life is not black and white: that you can love someone you are not with, or be with someone who you do not love (enough). The supporting characters are colourful and diverse, from the rather dull and conventional offspring of Kate herself (so often true that the children of someone extraordinary are very ordinary), to the various eccentricities of her parents and extended family: her spinster sister Enid and her tactless and outspoken sister-in-law Bunny. Nobbs is the master of the understatement, and often says much more about his characters in a few well chosen words than another writer could in a chapter.
For anyone who has not read David Nobbs before, this novel is a jewel in his crown, but the crown is heavily bejewelled, and the "Bit of a do" novels and the Pratt series are also well worth dipping into.