Clearly the publishers had more than half an eye on promoting the book when they decided on ‘A Tiny Bit Marvellous’. I’ll go with it; it’s quite a bit marvellous, actually (boom, boom).
Having persevered through the heavy tome that is ‘London’, thousands of years of names, laws, places and kings, by the wonderful Edward Rutherfurd, I line up a few light reads for the next few weeks and Dawn French is top. When I open it, I’m pleased to see it’s a regular 323 pages but upon starting to read it, there are only about 17 joyous words per page. OK massive over statement but I resolve to read in three days and start eyeing up the next book, (Just Kids by Patti Smith).
It’s the perfect antidote to a history novel, set in the present time with everyday characters; a family of 2.4 children.
I love it when novels are written in a unique way; this one is written by three characters; (1) the mum, soon to be 50 Mo, way too tall, a children’s shrink that has no idea how to handle her own two, (2) Dora, soon to be 18, appears to be a little rounded but probably more so in her own eyes and a mum-hater and best of all (3) Oscar, a 16 year old called Peter whose love of all things dandy attest to his new persona as Oscar Wilde.
You can guess the chapter written by Mo, who cannot fathom at what point she lost the bond with her daughter who calls her rude names and makes her dislike obvious is quite a bit different from Dora, spitting venom as to why she isn’t allowed a tattoo before her 18th birthday.
I, also being a fan of all things Oscar adore the son’s chapters; he is out, loud and proud but at no point any reference made that he is different; he simply is as he is and everyone else has to deal with it, exactly as it should be. His chapters are written with more than a hint of Oscar-ness and this is where I think Ms French shows her wonderful talent to the fullest.
There is a husband in all this but he doesn’t get a word in.
I loved Dawn’s writing in her autobiography but one can never tell what a new novelist is going to produce, no matter how talented they are otherwise.
A tiny bit fabulous and an easy read too, phew.
Inspiration factor 9/10