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Oh Dear Silvia


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About the Author

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of this country's most long-running and celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, and more recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In. Her first two novels, A Tiny Bit Marvellous and Oh Dear Silvia, are both Number One bestsellers.


Beautifully observed. Makes you laugh on every page * The Times *
Hilarious. Chortle-out-loud turns of phrase, razor-sharp observations * Stylist *
Really enjoyable and highly recommended. Dawn French is a wonderful writer - witty, wise and poignant * Daily Mail *

The eponymous Silvia of this darkly comic novel, the second from popular British comedienne French, lies in a coma after a fall from her balcony. Each chapter features a visitor to her bedside, including Ed, her banally silly ex-husband; Jo, her frighteningly silly sister; Cat, her "best best ever friend" (self-described); Winnie, her good-hearted Jamaican nurse; Tia, her not-so-good-hearted East Asian housekeeper; and her estranged adult children, Jamie and Cassie. Their musings, elliptically, relate how Silvia came to be lying in a coma in a hospital somewhere in England, and, more tellingly, reveal something of the visitors' own lives. With a couple of exceptions (Winnie and Jamie), those lives are maddeningly inane: Ed tries (and predictably fails) to kill himself; Cat can't believe Silvia doesn't share her romantic feelings; and Jo is an "unhinged woman with acres of confidence, which is a worrisome combination." All three make the novel an uneasy, uneven mixture of farce and pathos, but it's funny and, occasionally, impressively well written. One section, about Jamie's experience in Afghanistan, is particularly fine, but very much at odds with the otherwise slapstick tone. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

While Silvia is in a coma as a result of a fall from a balcony, her life story is revealed through those who come to visit her in the hospital and by her nurse Winnie. Silvia's sister Jo has felt responsible for Silvia's well-being since their mother died when they were children and is sure she can coax her out of her unresponsive state. Ex-husband Ed is a faithful visitor as he relives their happier times, and Silvia's estranged daughter, Cassie, finds a way to mend the fissures between herself and her mother. Housekeeper Tia makes the most of her employer's hospitalization as Silvia's lover Cat becomes more manic with each visit. It soon becomes clear that being unconscious has greatly improved Silvia's relationship with those closest to her. But Silvia has had strained relationships with them for years-could one of them be responsible for her fall? VERDICT Making her U.S. debut, British comedian (French and Saunders) and writer French has written a laugh-out-loud novel that is interestingly narrated in alternating chapters by characters with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This is sure to appeal to fans of contemporary British humor like Absolutely Fabulous or Bridget Jones's Diary with a dash of mystery mixed in.-Karen Core, Detroit P.L. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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