Sunday, 7 August 2011

Dawn French's Debut Novel

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

As a big fan of Dawn French, I wanted to see if her writing was as good as her performances, and in many ways I wasn't disappointed. The story follows certain events in the lives of Mo, who is about to turn 50 and hovering on the edges of an extra-marital affair with a younger man, her husband whose inner we see little of as, well he's just 'Dad, then there is Dora, a foul mouthed, self obsessed seventeen-going-on-thirty-year-old and her divinely camp-over-the-top brother with a kind heart and an obviously damaged psyche who rechristens himself Oscar.[After Mr Wilde]

Dora is a nightmare daughter who truly believes she knows everything, hates and abuses everyone and leaves obscene messages on her mother's phone. Mo laughingly ignores these, passing Dora's atrocious behaviour off as a passing teenage phase, because after all, Mo is a psychologist and no one can tell HER how the young mind works!! Mo is heading towards a mid-life crisis, althogh from what I can see she actually does have a life. She's also self-obsessed and instead of attending Dora's eighteenth birthday party, she takes off to a hotel to meet her would-be lover - who fortuitously doesn't turn up.

The shortcut, text-speak, repetitive swearing language style gets a bit wearing after a while and more than once I found myself wanting to clip Dora round the ear and tell her to stop being such a cow, shake Mo for being totally unaware of what her family was going through and instead, fixating on a hopeless romance. As for allowing 'Oscar' to wear a smoking jacket at 16, which may be PC in this day and age but won't somebody talk to the boy for goodness sake??

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