Monday, December 13, 2010

BOOK: A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French, 322 pages

Typically British Challenge

Three members of the dysfunctional Battle family: child psychologist mother Mo, almost 18 year old cranky Dora, and 16 year old Peter, who prefers to go by Oscar as he is channeling Oscar Wilde, narrate the story. Husband is never named, but is the glue with which the family sticks together. Oscar is hilarious, and I never got tired of hearing his part of the story. A wonderful character who dreams of owning his own smoking jacket.

The main story revolves around the intern at Mo's office, Noel. Oscar develops a crush on Noel, who develops a crush on Mo. Dora narrates a large chunk of the story, and she is a very immature teenager, which a huge attitude and potty mouth, but since I spend my days in a high school, she is much more realistic than many would like to believe. And as selfish as she is, she is very much like Mo, and I'd say it's a family trait. Mo's mother Pamela appeared to be the voice of reason for all the characters, except Mo, who shouldn't be so surprised when her own daughter is so frustrated with her. Mo and Dora repeat practically the same complaints about their mothers.

The book flowed along very nicely with a bit of a story. All the strands came together nicely at the end. There were sections where I laughed out loud in spite of myself. Oscar trying to buy his smoking jacket and Mo realizing how she has aged, were two particularly funny sections. I am not familiar with Dawn French, but I understand she is a British comic actress; this is her first novel. I would certainly read another book by her (her memoir, Dear Fatty).

A very enjoyable book. ( )

 This completes the Typically British Challenge for me. Starting July 24th, I read:

1. The News Where You Are - Catherine O'Flynn
2. What Was Lost - Catherine O'Flynn
3. One Day - David Nicholls
4. Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
5. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - Winifred Watson
6. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
7. Minding Frankie - Maeve Binchy
8. A Tiny Bit Marvellous - Dawn French

which makes me a Creamed Cracker. Awesome! I had already read 13 British books before I found this challenge. Thanks for hosting Book Chick City.