The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of India Knight's darkly comic Comfort and Joy. Read with humour and sensitivity by Lucy Brown, the star of the hit show Primeval.
It's December 23rd and Clara Dunphy is running around Oxford Street like a blue-arsed fly trying to buy presents. She wants to make Christmas perfect: it's a lifelong ambition. And a challenging one at the best of times, even without taking her sixteen guests - sorry, "loved ones" - and their varying degrees of social dysfunction into account. Meanwhile, something weird has happened to her marriage, and the ho, ho, ho is thin on the ground.
Why does Christmas have such an emotional hold over us? Why does family stuff hit the peak of its madness on December the 25th? And is it okay to want more than you have, when what you have seems so enviable from the outside?
A blackly funny, tender dissection of the meaning of love - family love, sibling love, children love - Comfort and Joy will make you laugh and cry.
The story is good, but I feel it is not enhanced by such frequent use of swear words. I am far from being a prude and I think the younger generation feel they invented these words - wrong! Use of profanity is ok if it enhances the story, but over use detracts from it and some are used to shock.