With Mother’s Day coming up (15 March), I find a good book, among other things, is always appreciated. Particularly if you live close to her and you can run a bath or make her tea to give her some me-time to enjoy the story.
My mother really deserves a nice treat as I made her work for me ahead of Mother’s Day. I made her read Losing It by the fabulous comedienne Helen Lederer to see if other mums like her might like it. And this is her verdict.
“When I stand in a bookshop and look at a book, I’m praying I’ll find something to take me out of my comfort zone. I want characters that I empathise with but I want them to be experiencing different life situations to myself so that I can escape from my world and imagine that I’m anything from a jetset billionaires wife to a brainy detective solving a crime to a brave woman living in the middle of nowhere with only the fisherman (that she hates then loves) for company.
Helen Lederer’s Losing It is about a lonely, slightly overweight 50 something mother hooked on diet pills, which is something I’ve never experienced before. But I can see how it could happen. If your husband moves out or dies and the kids fly the nest you’ll undoubtedly be lonely and if your work instructs you to try something that will save your career and help you look more glamorous in the process then you would try it, wouldn’t you?
It’s how the character deals with the situation that determines whether you leave the book feeling like you want the character to shut up and die to end the wallowing display of self-pity or whether you root for them so much that you don’t want to close the book because you want to see what happens next. The lead character, Millie, is so warm, so real and so likeable, with a clear sense of logic, albeit a quirky one, as to why she acts the way she does that it’s impossible to ignore her adventures and the story.
The fact that author Helen Lederer is a successful comedienne is evident.
Not only in the laugh out loud moments, of which they are many, but in the way a comedienne has to observe people in order to work out what’s funny in the world and what said people would find funny. Helen Lederer gets people. This is why the book flows seamlessly and the read is as easy and comforting as spreading warm butter over toast. Just don’t eat that when reading the scene about colonic irrigation, ok.
I’m nervous about giving too much away because I came to the book with no expectations. All I had to go on was the back cover (which you can read on it’s Amazon page), and the fact it was written by a celebrity I’d seen in classics like The Young Ones and Absolutely Fabulous, on TV panel shows and also in the diving TV show Splash.
I’m not the only fan of it either. The celebrities say:
Funny, witty, quirky…like the woman herself. Treat yourself.’ Jo Brand
‘Desperately funny, desperately engaging, desperately readable and desperately adorable.’ Stephen Fry
‘A brilliant creation: scene after scene of blissful agony: savagely funny and I couldn’t put it down.’Joanna Lumley
‘Helen is a wonderfully funny woman. I’ve known her for 33 years and always thought she should write a novel. She took her time but it’s worth the wait.’ Ben Elton
‘Helen Lederer’s novel perfectly blends her considerable talent as a comedienne with her skills as a writer into a super-funny but also resonant read. Loved it.’ Freya North
If you want to read like a VIP, then trust me and trust the stars quoted above – leave some hint for you family to get you this on Mother’s Day.“
Available now at Amazon – £3.99.