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13.8.12

Tots100 Book Club: Summer Reading Challenge.

You may have read my recent post about books which do not include any shades of grey.
I made a rule to myself that if I want to buy new books, then I must finish the ones I have already started. A great plan in theory, but when I think of the many books I have and how many I have, or should I say haven't read, then this plan is quickly ruined. It would mean me not buying books for another few years.

So, I made a rule to read the books I knew I would be able to get into. The ones I had enjoyed the first few pages of but had been rudely distracted away from. There were two books on this list. The Little House and A Tiny Bit Marvellous.
With The Little House finished quicker than planned I set about reading Dawn French's first novel. My goal was to read it by my birthday so I can justify asking for Claire Richards Autobiography.
I am proud to say that I achieved my mini goal *yaywoo and air punches* and now have a fab book to recommend to everyone who will listen.

 A Tiny Bit Marvellous

I've always been a fan of Dawn French. I used to watch her sketch shows with Jennifer Saunders and of course loved The Vicar of Dibley. There's something about her. Something I can't quite put my finger on, which makes me love her.
So when I saw her book on the shelves I knew I had to buy it. I trusted that it would be good because it was written by her. I didn't realise just how good it would be though.
The book, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, follows the Battle family, more specifically Maureen 'Mo' and her two children, Dora and Peter 'Oscar'.
I have a "thing" for books which feature a different characters perspective in every chapter. When we had to do creative writing at school I always preferred to write stories in this way. So from the outset I knew this book would be perfect for me.

Mo is a very lovable character. She is a child psychiatrist who can't quite work out the behaviour of her own children.When written as Mo you get taken in to the book almost as a sympathetic ear at times. You are Mo's friend, she trusts you and I think a lot of readers would definitely see similarities between themselves and this character. She says things we think. Things we want to say.

Dora, well Dora is a 17 year old, text speaking like soooo oh em gee chavvy it's like soooo unreal innit. The way we see this character when it's written in first person, to then the way Mo writes about her is completely different. You can desperately see that Dora is trying to be something she is not and then every now and then this masks slips and you see the real vulnerable girl underneath.
The way Dawn French portrays Dora is fantastic, you have to really remind yourself that actually this piece is written by a lady in her....*quick Google check*....fifties. And although yes it is a bit stereotyped in parts, it's also rather true to life. Teenagers do talk that way.

Then there's Oscar, Peter, Oscar. Real name Peter, although the name he likes to be known as is Oscar. This got a little confusing at the beginning to me and I think out of the three characters he is the one I could least connect with but all the same he is hilarious. You read his inserts and laugh. You are entertained. But at the same time clearly think, "Wow, I hope my sons are not like that"...or maybe that's just me?

Mo's husband is around but we don't hear from him. Infact he is only referred to as 'dad' or 'husband' in the book. Oh, and the family have a dog. Called Poo.

The book mainly concentrates on the relationships between mother and her two children. Documenting the journey in life they are all facing, hitting certain milestones, challenges and decisions. We get to know the characters not only from their own words and perspective, but by their fellow family members too.

Of course I don't want to ruin the book for anyone but there are a few twists and choices to be made, it wouldn't be as good a book if these weren't featured of course.
This book is ideal for long car journeys, if you are lucky like me and find reading in a car easy! Or beach trips, garden sunbathing or lazing around a pool. Maybe not so much on a plane as there are some real laugh out loud bits which you do not want to have to explain or read out loud!

Or if you are down wid da kids you could always buy the audio cd and listen as you sunbathe.

* I wrote this post to join in with Tots100 Book Club: Summer Reading Challenge. I didn't recieve anything for posting this review. All words are my own and are honest. Book Club badge: Tots100 Parent Blogger Book Club