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Review: A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 6 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 6 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

This book is a terrible match for me. It’s squarely and unashamedly aimed at middle aged women, it’s full of stereotyped characters and irritating text-speak, has a plot that’s largely predictable from the blurb alone, and a “twist” that’s both obvious and pointless.

And yet… I found it really quite endearing. It’s a novel of the “mental chewing gum” variety – no thought required – but it’s a pretty good example of that kind of book. It has genuine humour and genuine warmth. While the characters were stereotypical, dull, and at times a little irritating, I did begin to care about where their stories would lead: particularly Oscar, whose part steals the show.

The format’s a sort of modern take on the epistolary form, with different characters narrating each chapter in the first-person, as though they are writing in their own diary. This works especially well when the different characters narrate the same incident from their own differing points of view – a device which is frequently played for laughs in this book, with great success. Others have become irritated by the writing styles, and particularly the text-speak style used for Dora, but I think it all fits together quite well.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous was a quick and easy read, and I enjoyed it despite myself. It isn’t by any means a book that I’d return to for a second reading, but I’d definitely consider reading Dawn French’s next novel.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous is available now from amazon.co.uk in paperback and on Kindle.

This 1,907th post was filed under: Book Reviews, .

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