About 30 years ago, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole was one of my favourite books. I read it over and over. As a psychiatrist who sees adolescents, the reflections of Sue Townsend’s 13 year old hero reminded me of all my young patients – he still does today. However, the other element of this book that pleased me was how funny it was. Ms. Townsend has an ear for humour, and this is also evident in The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year.

Without giving too much away, this is the story of what happens when a middle-aged woman, Eva Beaver, says farewell to her two children, heading off to university with their father, and decides that she can go back to bed. She is hoping to catch up on the sleep she has been missing since her twins were born 17 years previously. What parent can’t relate to the idea that it might take a full year of bed rest to make up for the sleep you miss raising children?

This is the kind of book you would read for a lark, when you just need something light to read that does not require great concentration. I have only one cautionary note – it’s not as funny as The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, so consider reading that first.

(Note: I read the 2012 Michael Joseph hardcover edition of this book.)

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