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The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year by [Townsend, Sue]
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The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 859 customer reviews

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Length: 460 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description


What happens when a duvet day turns into a duvet year?

Sue Townsend, the bestselling author of the Adrian Mole series, returns with The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, a funny and touching novel about what happens when someone stops being the person everyone wants them to be.

(from publisher's description)

Proof, once more, that Townsend is one of the funniest writers around (The Times)

Townsend's wit is razor-sharp (Daily Mirror)

Laugh-out-loud . . . a teeming world of characters whose foibles and misunderstandings provide glorious amusement. Something deeper and darker than comedy (Sunday Times)

She fills the pages with turmoil, anger, passion, love and big helpings of wit. It's full of colour and glows with life (Independent)

Hilarious and totally Townsend. There were parts where I laughed until I cried (Daily Mail)

Touching and hilarious. Bursting with witty social commentary as well as humour (Women's Weekly)

A funny, poignant look at modern family life (Daily Express)

About the Author

Sue Townsend is one of Britain's favourite comic authors. Her hugely successful novels include eight Adrian Mole books, The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (Aged 55¾), Number Ten, Ghost Children, The Queen and I, Queen Camilla and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, all of which are highly-acclaimed bestsellers. Sue passed away in 2014 and is survived by her husband, four children, ten grandchildren and millions of avid readers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2029 KB
  • Print Length: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141399643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141399645
  • ASIN: B006VXNIQ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 859 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,937 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am shocked that this wonderful and deeply thoughtful book, "The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year" is averagely rated three stars only. It's Sue Townsend's last novel, which I started to read last week abroad, unaware of the author's death, only to be told by a friend, who saw me with the book, that the beloved Sue Townsend died.

I loved the Adrian Mole books, they accompanied me throughout my teen years and I re-read them often. "The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year" is a dark read, compared to Townsend's lighthearted and hugely entertaining books on Mole's sorrows. It is about a middle-aged librarian Eva, who, when her children leave home to pursue their studies, gets in her bed and stays there (approximately for a year), without any explanation. She has her bedroom painted white, decides to get rid of all her earthly moveable assets (with an exception of her collection of Chanel personal care items). It is a new (and much awaited) start of Eva. Until it all goes further, with Eva demanding for her windows and door to be boarded, when she cannot be bothered to wash herself any more, when the sadness, unfairness and tragedy of the world feels too much for her (and then there is a selfish patronising husband, his mistress of eight years, the children, lacking any emotional connection with their parents and generally socially inept, the set of aging mother and mother-in-law). There is an array of characters, there is a lot of satire and drama, and I just could not put the book down.

"The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year" is a comical, witty and insightful. It's a page turner, yet full of wisdom, which each chapter giving you food for thought.

On a side note, I am in awe of Sue Townsend, who had to use wheelchair from the age of 30, who was registered blind for more than a decade and who still managed to write such fantastic books. I grieve her death.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sue Townsend had a great idea. Invent a woman who spends a year in bed! Eva Beaver is not ill, physically or mentally. She decides to go to bed to think.

With your main character in bed, you need an array of supporting characters to give some interest. I can imagine Townsend plotting these characters thinking they would be dynamite. Dr Brian Beaver (great name!), a dull astronomer who's constantly confused for an astrologer. His mistress, Titania (great name!). The weary and working class mother and mother-in-law, Ruby and Yvonne. The Beavers' autistic twin children. Poppy, the nymphomaniac who pretends to befriend the twins at university and wreaks havoc in the lives of hapless men. And finally Alexander, the dread locked would-be artist who falls in love with Eva. He and a facially scarred veteran from the war, Stuart, are the two token "nice" men, counter balancing Brian Junior and Senior.

The problem is that after a promising start, full of current social references and pithy pathos, Townsend runs into the problem of what to do with a bedridden woman.

There are a couple of references to Cold Comfort Farm and I believe Townsend thought she was creating something in this genre. But Eva Beaver is no Flora Poste. She languishes in bed, demanding food, and becomes an unlikely seer and guide with queues of distressed people wanting to see her.

So many of the characters are deeply unpleasant. Nothing new there: literature is full of characters like this. But there's nothing compelling about Beaver and his son. Even learning that Poppy had had a tragic past didn't make me feel sympathy for her. I just turned the pages when she appeared.
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I like Sue Townsend's work very much but I'm afraid I didn't get on all that well with this book. It is well written, easy to read and amusing in places but I thought that it lacked some of Townsend's real wit and sharp insight.

The story is of Eva, a woman whose twin children go away to university and whose tedious, sexist, emotionally illiterate (and many other objectionable things) husband turns out to have been having an affair for years. Eva goes to bed for a year to...well...no-one is sure. Even she doesn't know. It's a sort of withdrawal from all the things she hates about the world and a `finding herself' experience. Townsend then uses this to satirise and rant against what she dislikes about the world. There's a monstrous, self-obsessed, manipulative teenager, sexism and racism, some well-directed barbs like "[my children] live in a very small world called the internet where cynicism is the norm and cruelty has taken the place of humour," and so on. There's even a sort of Life Of Brian episode.

It's all quite amusing and the style carries you along nicely, but it didn't seem to me to have much cohesion nor much of the bite, insight and shrewd observation which have made many of Sue Townsend's books so good. It just rather peters out and although I think Eva's eventual realisation is of a profound and important truth I couldn't really see how the realisation stemmed from what had happened. (I also think that Henry James's list of the three important things in human life says it more powerfully and in a single sentence than this book does.)

This book is an easy, occasionally amusing read. I didn't actively dislike it but I'm afraid I didn't think it added up to much.
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