Jean Collins had two daughters. But she only loved one of them. She knew it was wrong, but she just couldn't help herself. Jess was a little sweetheart, everyone said so. Anne was awkward and serious and not much fun, to be frank.
But now the years have passed. Jess is missing - run off long ago, no one knows where or why. So when Jean is left in a coma after a road accident, it's Anne who travels back up north to sit at her mother's bedside. And she wonders - why did Jean dash out into the road without looking? What distracted her? And why was she carrying a box of vanilla slices, the cream cakes she only ever bought for extra special occasions? Meanwhile there are secrets waiting for Anne and Jean, back at the old family home. Secrets that were buried a long time ago...
©2013 Jenny Eclair (P)2013 Hachette Digital
"Of course it's funny, but it's also dark, honest and totally compulsive reading" (Jenny Colgan)
"Very dark and very funny. I had it glued to my face until I'd finished it" (Jo Brand)
Loved this audiobook. Narration was brilliant. I actually laughed out loud a few times as I could relate to Ann's character.
I loved it all!!
"Funny, sad and insightful"
Well this is definitely the funniest, saddest, most insightful book I have listened to this year. It's the kind of book I want to share with all my friends and I want to start listening to all over again! I read and enjoyed Jenny Eclair's 'Camberwell Beauty' many years ago - it's been a long wait for this and it's even better than her debut. I consumed this book greedily over 24 hours and really did not want it to end. Jenny's writing is so insightful, she perfectly captures the two worlds of contemporary middle class south Londoners and working class Lancashire life in the 1960/70s. Jenny Eclair narrates this so well- I was so drawn into the story and loved both of the main characters. If you fancy something different from the current obsession with psychological drama or predictable chick-lit, listen to this. Be prepared to laugh, cry and be immensely moved by Jean and Anne's stories.
"A thoroughly enjoyable read"
I thoroughly enjoyed this amusing and touching story. Brilliantly narrated by the author, the book shares the viewpoints of a mother and two, very different, daughters. A very well observed story of generations and their ambitions. I highly recommend this book and the twist at the end is lovely.
"Life, Death and Vanilla Slices"
A really enjoyable book. It made me laugh and cry. I just could not stop listening to it
One if the main characters is the same age as me and I could see myself . I love listening to stories where you see things from different points of view
It would not have been as good if it had been read by anybody else.
"I loved this book"
I really like it when the author reads their own book. Jenny Eclair read it brilliantly. The storyline was very enjoyable...made mr laugh out loud and tears in my eyes at other times
Ann in some ways as she always tended to do the right thing
Jess was hilarious in some of her interactions with Ann
I listen when I run so it is great to look forward to the next installments
Fully recommend this book
"Laughter and tears"
I loved the narration.
It was a bit like Dear Silvia by Dawn French, but better. Similar coma storyline.
She gives great personality and emotion to the story and characters.
The childbirth bit had me in tears on a packed 6pm train home from Paddington! I had been laughing on the 7am train on the way in to town that morning!
Loved this book, really enjoyed the story, really enjoyed the narration and would recomend it to anyone who loved Dawn French's A Tiny Bit Marvellous.
"Poignant and truthful."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jenny uses a razor to cut to the heart of the family featured in it and what's revealed is both uncomfortable and poignant in equal measure. Any daughter or mother will find a lot they recognise here I think. The characters are much more than two dimensional ; both good and bad and everything in between. I am glad I listened to it.
"A Rey good modern tale"
I always enjoy anything written by Jenny eclair
I enjoyed the characterisation, the story line kept me listening and it was written with humour within the plot
The story was believable and tackled some difficult scenarios within the plot
Parent can invest more in a child they find it easy to relate to
I bought the book because jenny eclair was reading it and I was not disappointed
"Fantastic right to the end!"
Touching, funny, sad, shocks and surprises - absolutely enjoyed every bit of it! For me, I always take a while to get comfy with the narrator and it was the case here too but Jenny was brililant. Certainly made you question yourself as a mum and daughter! Highly recommended - promise you'll love it!
"Great story made me laugh and cry"
This is one of the best stories I have listened too. Really well written and a joy to listen to.
At first I didn't like either of the two main characters much but as the story unfolded I grew to like them and then to admire them. By the end of the story I felt a strong emotional connection to them.
This book made me laugh and a couple of times it rendered me motionless, I had to stop what I was doing and just listen. They were moments in the book that made me cry.
The book had absorbed me and transported me to another world. I really didn't want it to end.
I like Jenny's voice so it helped that it was read by her and I would probably prefer it to a printed version.
Yes - it's not bad. Not a great book, but easy to listen to on the commute.
I really like Jenny's voice, especially when she is seething or cross. It's good to listen to the author narrate so you really get the emphasis that was meant, rather than an interpretation.
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