Life, Death & Vanilla Slices – book review

November 22, 2012 · 10 comments

This book is going to stick with me for the rest of my life…I happened to be reading it on and off during the last few weeks of my mum’s life and I would tell her about it as in the past we always shared our books. Sadly for the last couple of months she wasn’t able to concentrate long enough to read and then as I held her hand in the last few hours of her life I finished the book, so it’s not one I am going to forget.

Anyhow…written by actress and comedian Jenny Eclair this could be described as a black comedy. Focusing on Jean, a widow, knocked down by a car and left in a coma and her snobby daughter Anne who begrudges having to travel back up North from Dulwich in London to sit at her mother’s bedside. Back at home Anne has two teenage sons and a husband that appears to have forgotten that Anne even exists. Of course there are the obligatory skeletons in everyone’s closet and twists and turns that at times are quite unexpected keeping the reader on their toes and completely engrossed in the story.

I found the book funny but I also found it gut wrenchingly poignant too…Anne’s teenage sons are awful and cruel and I could so empathise with her. I wanted to cry at times the book was so close to home. At times I wondered if Jenny Eclair had actually been spying on my life. I also went from loving to hating each character in turn and back again for various reasons.

This is a very clever book which will make you laugh and make you cry, it is so realistic and honest that I cried out at the cruelness of teens, husbands, mothers, sisters and at times my heart ached for the characters.

I highly recommend this book, it is an easy read that if nothing else will have you praying that your teenage sons don’t end up anywhere near as awful as Anne’s have.

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