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on 7 April 2005
Only Human is a wonderful novel: original, poignant and painfully funny. It is the tale of Marjorie Hemming, a marriage guidance counsellor, who will do just about anything to help her battling clients to reconcile. About half this book takes place in Marjorie's consulting room where we actually see her counselling her clients. It's like being a fly on the wall listening in to other people's messes and at times it's so personal you feel you shouldnt even be reading. Boyt says somewhere that the way normal people behave with the person they are closest too often borders on the insane and this is certinaly borne out by the characters she shows us. Some of these conversations that take place are truly extraordinary and Majorie's eccentric insights about relationships are a dazzling mixture of spot on and half crazed. The rest of the book examines Marjorie's difficult relationship with her teenage daughter who has suddenly left home and how this preoccupation affects the way she works with her clients. These parts of the book are incredibly moving and as we see the successful professional woman begin to unravel at the seams we cant help rooting for her.
This book tackles difficult big themes such as failed relationships and grief head-on, but with a lightness of touch and with humour and a great deal of understanding. At times it's laugh out loud funny but I'd be surprised if it didnt also make you cry.
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 July 2004
Only Human is a wonderful novel: original, poignant and painfully funny. It is the tale of Marjorie Hemming, a marriage guidance counsellor, who will do just about anything to help her battling clients to reconcile. About half this book takes place in Marjorie's consulting room where we actually see her counselling her clients. It's like being a fly on the wall listening in to other people's messes and at times it's so personal you feel you shouldnt even be reading. Boyt says somewhere that the way normal people behave with the person they are closest too often borders on the insane and this is certinaly borne out by the characters she shows us. Some of these conversations that take place are truly extraordinary and Majorie's eccebtric insights about relationships are a dazzling mixture of spot on and half crazed. The rest of the book examines Marjorie's difficult relationship with her teenage daughter who has suddenly left home and how this preoccupation affects the way she works with her clients. These parts of the book are incredibly moving and as we see the successful professional woman begin to unravel at the seams we cant help rooting for her.
This book tackles difficult big themes such as failed relationships and grief head-on, but with a lightness of touch and with humour and a great deal of understanding. At times it's laugh out loud funny but I'd be surprised if it didnt also make you cry.
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse


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