This review is about The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend. I read four of her Adrian Mole novels so I was excited to try something else. I ordered my copy from www.bol.com and it counts 437 pages.
“The day her gifted twins leave home for university, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For seventeen years she's wanted to yell at the world, 'Stop! I want to get off'. Finally, this is her chance. Perhaps she will be able to think. Her husband Dr Brian Beaver, an astronomer who divides his time between gazing at the expanding universe, an unsatisfactory eight-year-old affair with his colleague Titania and mooching in his shed, is not happy. Who will cook dinner? Eva, he complains, is either having a breakdown or taking attention-seeking to new heights. But word of Eva's refusal to get out of bed quickly spreads. Alexander the dreadlocked white-van man arrives to help Eva dispose of all her clothes and possessions and bring her tea and toast. Legions of fans are writing to her or gathering in the street to catch a glimpse of this 'angel'. Her mother Ruby is unsympathetic: 'She'd soon get out of bed if her arse was on fire.' And, though the world keeps intruding, it is from the confines of her bed that Eva at last begins to understand freedom.”
This novel is just how I expected it to be.
The characters are a caricature of real people and they act accordingly. In real life, no-one would stay in bed for a year and no-one would let his wife do so. By writing about larger than life characters, the novel becomes very perceptive and hilariously funny.
And let’s face it, Townsend has humor, you have to understand her style and her quirks, but once you do you will surely laugh about the absurdity of the situation. The humor is sharp and to-the-point, well-observed and uplifting.
I’m sure everyone dreams sometimes of not caring, of staying in bed for a while and letting the world be the world while examining the basis of our life. Eva does it and we see that this year is not the careless time for figuring out herself and her life she hoped it would be. But we still wonder how it would be like to do it ourselves.
Cozy night in.