Review – The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year by Sue Townsend

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“The day her twins leave home, 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.

Her husband Brian, an astronomer having an unsatisfactory affair, is upset. Who will cook his dinner? Eva, he complains, is attention seeking. But word of Eva’s defiance spreads.

Legions of fans, believing she is protesting, gather in the street, while her new friend Alexander the white-van man brings tea, toast and unexpected sympathy. And from this odd but comforting place, Eva begins to see both herself and the world very, very differently…”

The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year – Sue Townsend

I have been keeping an eye out for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole in my local charity shops for a while now so when I saw The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year by the same author I snapped it up.

Eva is the mother to Brian Junior and Brianne, seventeen year old twins who took up her entire life before they left to go to university. Once they have gone Eva gets into bed and refuses to get out again. Her not-so-loving husband, Brian, is confused and frustrated by her stubborness and has absolutely no idea how to make a meal for himself, nevermind run a house. As Eva’s family get used to fending for themselves and looking after her for a change, she starts to see the world in a totally different way. Alexander the local white van man becomes her closest friend and she starts giving advice to those who pop in and see her.

This novel is a brilliant and hilarious look at family life but it also has darker psychological themes as Eva is obviously having some kind of breakdown. She is an extremely likeable character though and you can’t help but cheer her on in her mission to think about herself for a change!

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Are you ever tempted to just give up on all your responsibilities and stay in bed? Would you feel liberated or just bored?

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NOTE – I am currently away at Leeds Festival but will answer all comments when I return!

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