Book Review: A Tiny Bit Marvellous

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

The blurb: Everyone hates the perfect family. So you’ll love the Battles.

Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent:
She doesn’t understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologist, is fairly embarrassing. She has become entirely grey. Inside, and out. Her face has surrendered and is frightening children.
Dora is about to hit the big 18 . . . and about to hit anyone who annoys her, especially her precocious younger brother Peter who has a chronic Oscar Wilde fixation.

Then there’s Dad . . . who’s just, well, dad.

A TINY BIT MARVELLOUS is the story of a modern family all living in their own separate bubbles lurching towards meltdown. It is for anyone who has ever shared a home with that weird group of strangers we call relations.
Oh and there’s a dog. Called Poo.

My review: A Tiny Bit Marvellous is just that. This book has an excellent cover and an author attached to it who is, in my humble opinion, one of the funniest comedienne’s the UK has ever produced. However it did take me a while to warm to the Battle’s.

The book is structured in first person segments, journal entries primarily from Mo (mother) Dora (teenage daughter) and Oscar/Peter (teenage son) they are short chapters with big spacing, there’s something about reading a book that’s primarily narrated that makes it easy going, it only took me a day to read.
I think my main issue is that I found it hard to relate to the characters. The kind of humour that works here is situational where you can imagine the events happening to yourself or someone you know, Mo in particular didn’t have enough of a glimmer of likeability in the first half of the book to make me care about her at all, and she was very hard to relate to. But this might be an age thing, there are many references to her approaching her 50th year, and the anecdotes that go with it pertain to that. So I may be in the wrong demographic.

However by the second half the book really got into its stride. Nana Pamela was a particular favourite. I also loved Oscar and with his entries were my first laugh out loud moments. They were told with such panache and fantastic timing that I would read them again, just to savour those genius moments. This is comfortable reading. All in all it’s a lovely book, not one that I want to sing from the rooftops about but one that I would happily pass on to a friend, safe in the knowledge they would be entertained.

6 out of 10 stars! ******

BUY ME! A Tiny Bit Marvellous

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