Book Reviews of the Week 18.05.20

Here are our picks for Books for the Week. They were published either just before or during lockdown and they are all highly recommended.

Imogen edwards-jones

The Carer

Deborah Moggach

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller

“Moggach is at the height of her powers with this book, which moves from a beautifully observed comedy of middle-class life to an immensely moving celebration of two imperfect marriages,” Sunday Times

The Carer is another gem from the bestselling writer of Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach. Talking some of the most important social issues of our time – aging, carers and the squeezed sandwich generation, The Carer, is the story of two siblings Robert and Phoebe’s decision to find their aged father, Prof James Wentworth, OBE, a full-time carer after the 85-year-old man has a fall. In comes Mandy round, jolly and fun, who breathes life into the old boy after his wife, Anna has died. He discovers joy, laugher, Pointless and Game of Thrones. Told in three parts, from two different points of view, The Carer is vintage Moggach. Funny, sharp, with brilliant characters – disappointed Robert’s wife is a joy. There are twists, turns, long kept secrets, sadness and warmth.  Excellent.

‘Unputdownable, fun and tender with characters that jump off the page. Perfection.‘ Marian Keyes

“A cracking, crackling social comedy with some brilliant people observations about ageing and a devilish plot twist“, Robbie Millen, The Times

Moggach’s latest is full of warmth and humour as well as blistering truths about the sorrowful threads that bind families”, Daily Mirror

The Carer by Deborah Moggach is published in paperback by Tinder Press £8.99

Purchase The Carer from your local Bookseller:

How to Grow Old

John Bishop

‘His turn of phrase is inspired and his point of view is always spot on. Brilliant”.

Imogen Edwards-Jones

After languishing in the Sunday Times bestseller list for weeks at the end of last year, John Bishop’s second book is now out in paperback. Substantially more interesting than a grumpy old man guide, Bishop’s sharp, entertaining and surprisingly wise take on old age is divided up into nine different sections from: How to Wake Up Old to How to Stay Relevant. He tackles the subsiding sex drive of the over 50s, to getting dressed to go to bed, to pointing out that no one wants to go out on a Monday night, to the hell of Snap Chat to the true love he once had for a purple Ozwald Boateng suit. No man should ever been seen with hairy shoulders in a wife beater shirt or with a jumper casually knotted around his neck. He complains at the beginning of the book that he finds writing hard, using only three fingers a time. But his turn of phrase is inspired and his point of view is always spot on. Brilliant.

How to grow old by John Bishop is published by Penguin £20 Hardback

Buy How to Grow Old from your local Bookseller:

The Mystery Of Henri Pick

David Feonkinos (translated by Sam Taylor)

A charming literary caper… A playfully droll satire of the French publishing scene and a completely delightful jeu d’esprit”.

Daily Mail

The first in the newly curated collection of foreign fiction from Channel 4’s Walter Presents in conjunction with Pushkin Press, comes the utterly brilliant, The Mystery of Henri Pick, a fast-paced comical mystery and satire of French publishing and the press. Set in the small town of Crozon, Brittany, a young editor, Daphne Despero comes across a library of rejected manuscripts, where writers who have lost all hope, deliver their dreams and dashed aspirations in the form of their rejected novels. Leafing through the manuscripts, laughing at titles such as Masturbation and Sushi, Daphne comes across a gem, a diamond, written by the sadly now dead local pizza chef. It becomes a publishing sensation. A bestseller. The book of the year and beyond. Except an obsolete journalist Jean-Michel Rouche smells a rat. This must be some hoax and he goes on to investigate. There’s sex, there’s lingerie, there’s beer, red wine, jokes, literary jokes, frilly knickers hiding behind cushions, Andre Gide, Michel Houellebecq, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and most of all an intoxicating love of books. A total unadulterated triumph and a must-read for bibliophiles everywhere.  

The Mystery of Henri Pick manages the great gap between levity and profundity, between humour and seriousness. A beautiful farce’  Le Figaro littéraire

‘A sparkling comedy. A novel to be devoured, which also examines the curious relationship between readers and books’ Elle

‘Written with wit and sagacity… beautifully quirky and makes for an entertaining dance through the world of books and people. Just lovely’ TripFiction

‘A satirical comedy constructed like a literary thriller. David Foenkinos celebrates book lovers and the power of words’ Lire

The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos is published by Pushkin Press £9.99 

Buy The Mystery of Henri Pick from your local Bookseller:

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