by Sue Davy
Posted on April 2, 2017
Comments Off on Bookworms Book Review March
Moving By Jenny Eclair
After several months of long/heavy/miserable books, it was requested that I choose a ‘smaller, more lighthearted’ book as my nomination on for this month’s book club. Not really my natural habitat but what better, I thought when I spotted it in Kinokuniya, than British stand up comic Jenny Eclair’s book, Moving?
Let me say first off that I didn’t do sufficient research! After we circulated confirmation on of the title, I looked again at the Amazon reviews and found: ‘…it is true that [Eclair’s] previous books have been funny… This isn’t a funny book…’ Whoops. Sorry Gale.
The story opens with Edwina, a elderly woman, who is selling the family home. As she shows the young estate agent around the house, the memories come back to her and she hints at the lives of her extended family. The flashbacks and introductions to the wider family hint at the tragedies and secrets in their past.
The second part of the book is Fern’s story and set in the 1980’s. She’s a privileged young woman from Surrey who, desperate to find out who she is, goes to slum it at drama school in Manchester. I laughed several times during Fern’s story; we read many funny anecdotes as her upper middle class eyes are opened by the new people she meets (the lower classes! Northerners! Fat people! and lesbians!) and the different experiences she has. I had real hope for her as she bloomed into a much nicer young woman (but sadly I was wrong; she was doomed! And I think this is what some book club people took against… no-one was really convincingly redeemed.) The final part returned to the present day and is narrated by Lucas. He is Edwina’s stepson by her second husband and we already know what a ghastly young man he is – I found it quite difficult to care what his part of the story was, but having invested in the book so far, I persevered.
We all thought ‘Moving’ was easy and readable but there were mixed responses to the book. Some of us enjoyed it in spite of the dark story and slightly unpleasant characters that inhabit ‘Moving’. While others found it ‘underwhelming’ and too inhabited by unrelenting callous characters.
By Jenny Beattie
Scores: 1-4, 1-5, 2-6, 1-7, 2-8