It is my guilty pleasure.
In my younger days, I read about Adrian Mole in a self-conscious chuckle. (But of course, I didn’t quite identify with him.)
Years later, when I realised that the Adrian Mole character still existed, and that he has grown up too, I couldn’t not pick up the books. I read two of the books, and the adult in me savoured the pleasure of reading poor Adrian’s silliness on the written page again. Somehow, I felt the magic leaving the page, perhaps because as a topic, teenage angst is the most enchanting.
But yet, when I saw that Sue Townsend had a new book out titled, “The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year“, I felt the need to buy it.
It was a title that drew you in immediately, both because it sounds impossible, and because it sounds very enticing too. The main character decides to confine herself to her bedroom, and everyone else has to deal with that. Hence enters a cast of hilarious characters, and the narrative rumbles along, dragging up the dark corners and secrets of the larger-than-life but ultimately endearing characters. It is a successful story idea, because Sue Townsend draws you into Eva’s world and the reasons she would choose to lay in bed for a year. What would she do once a year was up?
This book interrupted my reading of Ali Smith’s There But For The, coincidentally also about a person who decides to confine himself to a bedroom (but this one involves someone else’s bedroom). I can only say in my defence that I am prone to reliving my childhood.
If you see Sue Townsend’s book in the store, don’t just dismiss it as humourous fiction for the young adult crowd. You might just like it.