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Customer Review

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars when in doubt retire to bed or a giraffe called Paul, 6 May 2012
This review is from: The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year (Hardcover)
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"YES!" would have been my one word review (and as many stars in Brian Beaver's firmament)but reviewing here requires more elucidation.

I believe that along with Rachel Joyce's "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Foy" that the new voice for the new century has at last been found. In searching for the new voice ~ and not those tired old Booker retreads ~ Sue Townsend has once more and to such good effect found the formula for a return to the art of the comic novel. We live in a world that has a great need for humour, or at least a need for the diminishing of mizlit and suppressed memory bunkum.

There is a long and arcane history of people who have taken to their beds for various reasons; saints to meditate and give a kind of hope back to the world, a restful untroubledness; celebrities for peace and attention, think John & Yoko, think Kate Hepburn and when was the last time, dear Reader, when you would have given anything to not leave that worm bed, to have had just another ten minutes?

Bed is a symbolic retreat, a womb, the ultimate comfort zone, the place where most of us want to be and where Eva Beaver decides to spend a year after deciding to stop being the woman she was, a harried, overworked, under appreciated largely ignored human being. Her family assume she is having a nervous breakdown, as in most families she is the glue that has kept the unit together. Eve with her bed and soup-stained embroidered chair becomes the focus not only of the household but of the wider world of the media in this at times hilarious at other times deeply moving new novel.

The novel examines not only the gender roles in a genial rather than political way but also the very nature of love and relationships the "what we do to other people" scenarios that we all live through.

Eva is a new brand of saint, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter available consultant who by example has withdrawn from the world and ironically has the world come visit her. She also has to deal with the faithless useless husband, weird kids and the loathsome Poppy ( a bit of true genius writing her worthy of Dickens himself) not to mention the yummy Alex, another kind of saint and the detritus that blows up against her bedroom sanctuary door.

You are not going to read anything much better than this book this year or even decade
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3.2 out of 5 stars (629 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

David Spanswick
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Location: Brighton United Kingdom

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