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on 11 June 2013
I thought A Letter for Maureen was much deeper than Jonathan Hill's other book about Maureen(Maureen goes to Venice ) as it tackles some difficult issues relating to illness, ageing and death. That's not to suggest that the book is dark or depressing; it's not. It's very funny in places; it's unusual and original and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it; it just had a bit more substance than the other 'Maureen' stories and benefited from that.
The characterisation is really good. The supporting cast are well developed, engaging and interesting. Each character gets a pen portrait that has been written with economy, style and wit. This same economy of style is used for scene setting: just enough details to get you into the right place and then on with the story. Consequently you engage really well with the book and I read it straight through in one sitting. I've read it a second time actually and enjoyed it just as much.
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It's Maureen's turn to chair the book group that meets in the local library every fortnight.

One paragraph in the book: "Once a fortnight the book group met at Maureen's local library. This was somewhat ironic as virtually all the members owned Kindles and so completely bypassed the rows and rows of tree books on their way to the meeting room at the rear of the library", made me sit up and wonder how libraries will operate in the future with all of us owning Kindles or other electronic reading devices. But I'm afraid that is all that caught my attention in this otherwise banal and very forgettable book.
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on 5 March 2013
This is the second Maureen book. This time Maureen is at home and at the book club meetings at the local library.

I found this a much more satisfying story than Maureen goes to Venice. In the early book, Maureen is just clumsy and somewhat obnoxious. This story gives her a lot more heart. Even though she is the one person you don't want to spend too much time with, she only wants to do what is right and kind.

I loved the bit where she visits the `care home'. I could really picture the scene. I thought that was superb scene setting and writing.

As for the `letter' of the title. Gulp.
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on 18 April 2013
Having read Maureen's other two adventures it felt very much like catching up with an old friend again.
For me, Maureen has always been about comedy and there are certainly a plethora of comic moments within the story. The whole theatre experience, including the pre performance meal and its consequences were the highlight for me and gave me a good laugh. The author is very adept at adding little nuggets of comedy in just the right places to bring about a laugh. - "My eye!" are only two words but used in this context (read it and see for yourself) are an example of comic timing and you can almost see the fallout from it.

The story is also full of emotion and which is incredibly well written. The author has combined both comedy and drama perfectly which is not easy. As a result I feel that Maureen has become even more three dimensional, if at all possible. She may indeed occupy a dimension all to herself and actually probably should!

I really enjoyed this story and if anything was better that Maureen goes to Venice. I could quite easily see this as a television play or on the stage. Very, very good.
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on 12 April 2013
A Letter for Maureen

Another wonderful adventure about Maureen from Jonathan Hill!

I particularly enjoyed the account of the Library Book Club meeting, chaired by the indomitable Maureen. We meet Nigel the librarian, desperate to catch people breaking the rules, Winston the book club bore (don't they all have one?), and a suspiciously familiar young man with red hair who spends his time observing Maureen and taking copious notes. During the meeting Maureen tries to pass off shop mince pies as her own baking and the earlier scene where she is compared to Nigella Lawson as she attempts to bake in her own kitchen at home is absolutely priceless.

The transition to a darker mood towards the end is skilfully handled and every reader will surely feel the same hope that Maureen will bounce back and be ready to face the world again.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2013
This is the second Maureen novella that I have read, and I am quickly turning into a huge Maureen fan! She is a walking disaster area who seems to attract trouble like a magnet, yet at the same time has a heart of gold. This extremely well written, easy to read novella has some very funny moments in it; my personal favourite being "trying to cook in time with Jamie Oliver". How many times have we all watched a TV chef, knowing that it is impossible for the average person to do a "Jamie meal in 15 minutes"? The author has obviously had that same thought and brought it into this story with fantastic results.

Not just a comedy, the book also shows Maureen's huge heart and how she would do anything to help someone. It shows her vulnerability and loneliness as well, with an ending that is really quite sad. Like other people, I also hope for more of Maureen but I would like to see her finding love, as well, of course, as more "Miranda Hart/Hyacinth Bouquet" moments!
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on 6 December 2013
I enjoyed Maureen's 2nd book more than the first. The comedic moments had me laughing out loud; the serious moments were handled with care and sensitivity. I realised while reading that I actually care about Maureen's character and I can't wait to see what she gets up to next!
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on 13 May 2013
I loved reading this bittersweet comedy. It had me laughing out loud several times. I have become fond of Maureen since reading about her in Maureen goes to Venice. This is written in a witty and funny manner, but there is also a surprise twist to this tale which adds depth to the story. Maureen is not just a comic character but one that I have come to feel a great deal of sympathy and affection for.
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on 14 February 2014
What can I say about A Letter for Maureen? After Maureen Goes to Venice, I was expecting a story full of calamity, just what Maureen does best. The author, however, does something very different here, he weaves the usual Maureen comedy with a much darker, caring tale.

We see into Maureen's past and how she copes with a very sad turn of events in her present. The first story in the series is a fantastic tale, but Jonathan has opened up more about his main lead with this story and given her some heart. She could have become a bothersome joke, but he has given us more reason to absolutely adore this meddlesome creation.

A lovely, funny, heart-wrenching read.
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on 4 March 2013
Jonathan Hill in the form of Maureen does not fail to entertain. In this third encounter with the ever calamity prone Maureen, her softer, more human side comes through and once again we are laughing with her rather more than at her. The first scene in the nursing home is a gem.
The end is an interesting, sobering twist.
Enjoyable, fun, cringe worthy. Although I still hanker slightly for the less sensitive Maureen from the first encounter, I'll always happily read more of her adventures.
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