Friday, 8 March 2013

Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French

"Who is in Coma Suite Number 5? A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife? All of these. For this is Silvia Shute who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops. Her past holds a dark and terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. And she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers. Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again . . ." - From the publisher

Readers of Dawn French's second novel, Oh Dear Silvia, have had mostly positive comments to make. Although, some felt the use of dialects a little overused, others loved them, and could just hear the dialogue as if spoken aloud in French's own comic voice.

Characterisation is the core of this novel, and patience is rewarded slowly but surely as the monologues of each visitor start to reveal the nature of the woman who lies, still and immobile, in the hospital bed. For those who prefer strong plot driven action, this may not be for you. Most readers, however, have reported enjoying the rich combination of humour and pathos, the contrast between the more carefully drawn studies of the quietly troubled vs. the over-the-top comedic characters, and the struggle of all in their journey toward acceptance.

French started this book before her own mother become ill. You may want to read her interview with the Guardian to see how this influenced the writing process - it definitely adds an extra depth to it.

Posted by Spot

Check our Catalogue and reserve online
Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French, 2012 

About the Author
Dawn French is one of Britain's best loved comic writers and is well-known from series such as The Vicar of Dibley and French & Saunders.

Dawn French Guardian Interview

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