Saturday, 1 November 2014

Book Review No 12: We Are All Made of Glue by Marina Lewycka

I read this book while we were on holiday in Spain at the end of May; I really am so far behind with my reviews. The tea room takes up such a lot of my time that blogging has slipped to the bottom of the pile somewhat; it does make me a bit sad that this is the case, but I'm sure things will change one day and I'll be able to visit my little corner of blogland more regularly.

Anyway, better crack on since time is of the essence. Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

Georgie Sinclair's life is coming unstuck. Her husband's left her. Her son's obsessed with the End of the World. And now her elderly neighbour Mrs Shapiro has decided they are related.
Or so the hospital informs her when Mrs Shapiro has an accident and names Georgie next of kin. This, however, is not a case of a quick ward visit: Mrs Shapiro has a large rickety house full of stinky cats that needs looking after and that a pair of estate agents seem intent on swindling from her. Plus there are the 'Uselesses' trying to repair it (uselessly). Then there's the social worker who wants to put her in a nursing home. Not to mention some letters that point to a mysterious, painful past.
As Georgie tries her best to put Mrs Shapiro's life back together, somehow she must stop her own from falling apart...

I picked this book up because I'd read and very much enjoyed another book by this author (A History of Tractors in Ukrainian); I'm not even sure if I bothered to read what it was about, I was just happy to give another of her stories a go. And now I'm going to come a bit unstuck (pardon the glue pun) trying to review it because it was such a long time ago that I read it I can barely remember the story. Still, I'll give it my best shot. Not meaning to start on a negative but I know I didn't enjoy the book as much as Tractors since there were parts I found a little annoying, but overall the book was enjoyable. The writer's style is one that makes the book easy to read and 'get in to', and the humour was both gentle and a little bawdy. The story is at times far-fetched but, really, isn't that the point of a novel - to stretch the imagination and suspend belief for a while? Going back to the negatives though, the main character, Georgie, could be somewhat annoying, there were a few too many minor characters to keep track of, there are cliches a-plenty and the story is probably just a smidge too long. However, the positives outweigh the negatives (just about), and so I would say I'm glad I read this book and I will definitely read the author's other novel (Two Caravans) and will probably read any others she may write in the future. And there you have it, another scintillating review from yours truly.

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