This was a lovely read, even though the style was a little simplistic. But then again, James Bowen wasn't a writer, and this wasn't meant to be a literary masterpiece, just an account of his story. I certainly enjoyed it for what it was and fell in love with Bob - no surprises there! It was interesting to read a story from the point of view of the type of person that often doesn't get much of a voice in society. And it was heartwarming to read about how his life was turned around by the chance meeting with a beautiful cat. I give this book 8/10.
I really enjoyed this book, it had me gripped right from the start. The story of Isabel was fascinating and I fell in love with her as a character. As things began to deteriorate in her life, I genuinely felt sad for her as if I knew her. Emily was the main character from the present day, and although I did enjoy her story, too, she wasn't as gripping a character. Her relationship with Matthew was a strange one, as the reader was clearly supposed to think he was marvelous, which I did not. After their break up, she pined for him, and this irritated me because I never thought he was particularly amazing. Towards the end of the novel, there were a few dramatic twists in the tale which I had not been expecting at all, and which had me in shock. The ending was particularly unexpected, but it was the perfect way to end the story. I give this book 10/10.
This was quite an entertaining read as it had a lot of satirical undertones and made a lot of funny judgements of society in general. The story had me hooked as I was eager to know how the story would progress - especially to see who would put up with looking after Eva for such a long time. It is such an unlikely scenario, especially when Brian's mistress comes to live in his shed, but it is done so well that it convinces the reader that it is actually happening. The added dimension of the twins going to university and how they have their own story lines and issues created extra interest. Although, their names Brian Junior and Brianne were maybe going a bit too far in the believability stakes! Overall, though, it was a good, if slightly strange, read and I give this book 8/10.
Although this book was meant to be funny, it was actually pretty sad, too. The opening chapters that describes Anne's life were really quite depressing! And as we get to know Anne and Jean and their combined histories, there is a real sadness underlying all of the comic scenes and irony. My favourite scene in the book has to be when Anne's son comes across his mother in the nude after she believes he is a burglar - this actually made me laugh out loud, a rare thing in a book (mostly I laugh on the inside). I would have preferred the consistency of chapters just from Anne or Jean's points-of-view because occasionally Jess or one of Anne's sons would take over the narrative, but I suppose this was needed to reveal certain aspects of the story. But overall, it was a good read, and there were parts where I was thoroughly gripped. I give this book 9/10.