This has been the best book of the holidays so far. It was a clever, observant, intelligent beautifully written read.
I assumed from the title and from my memory of why I bought the book. That it was about someone who comes to the UK and is obsessed by being English then finds us totally eccentric. It’s not though there is perhaps a novel in its own right there.
It’s about a 18 year old boy who lives with his Grannie in a small mining village in central Scotland who answers an advert to look after a London man who has suffered a stroke.
He arrives to find himself in a parallel universe. The stroke victim who he quickly bonds with and is the only one to realise that despite the stroke there is still a human being inside and seeks ways to communicate with him. The huge challenge is dealing with the dysfunctional family.
There is Laura Ashley obsessed wife number one. Who seizes the chance to try and get back her former home and as much of her ex husband’s fortune as possible. There is her daughter with a weight problem and low self esteem who wants a boyfriend. Her friend who is anorexic and in love with the brother of the family. The wayward brother expelled from Oxford who causes chaos. And the second Iranian born wife who uses her ensuite bathroom to paint in and is well able to match wife number one. It’s about the 1980’s. Pot Noodles. 501’s jeans.
It’s about the wisdom of an 18 year old boy who sorts them all out. It’s insightful. It’s funny. I loved it.