The BookWorld's leading enforcement officer Thursday Next is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindon for what you'd expect to be a time of recuperation. If only life were that simple.
Thursday is faced with an array of family problems - son Friday's lack of focus since his career in the Chronoguard was relegated to a might-have-been, daughter Tuesday's difficulty perfecting the Anti-Smote shield needed to thwart an angry Deity's promise to wipe Swindon off the face of the earth, and Jenny, who doesn't exist.
Reviewed on 16th July 2012
Book seven in the Thursday Next series once again takes the random-fantasy/crime/met-fiction in a different direction. Thursday has a new job with new responsibilities, and is struggling with her children, one of whom doesn't exist.
As usual with Jasper Fforde's writing it's a fantastic mish-mash of thrilling adventure and literary puns. I don't know whether they've toned down a bit or my own experience has widened, but I felt that the references were more approachable than in some of the earlier novels where I knew I was missing most of them.
There are some excellent passages in this story, particularly the way that Fforde deals with the mindworm. The narration, from Thursday's point of view, is superb and presents an intuitive view of the world that tells the reader everything while managing not to realise things herself. This leads to the one plot hole that stands out, where she narrates things she shouldn't know.
I really love Jasper Fforde's novels and can't get enough of them. Reading 'The Woman Who Died a Lot' has encouraged me to go back and re-read the earlier Thursday novels. A definite must-read series for anyone who loves a bit of slightly-surreal comic fantasy.