Jim's Books

Oh Dear Silvia

Dawn French

Oh Dear Silvia
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ISBN: 9780141046358


Silvia Shute lies in hospital in a coma. Family and friends gather at her bedside, each thinking they know the real Silvia. But do they? For Silvia hides a secret. One she can never tell. And as her visitors congregate so the truth about Silvia is slowly revealed. Again, and again and again.

Reviewed on 27th June 2020

I have no idea why I owned a Dawn French novel, or where or when I got it - but it was on the shelf in amongst the other F authors when I was scanning for what to read next, and so I picked it out with trepidation.

It’s actually genius storytelling - what seems like a rather odd setup, the main character is in a coma and each chapter is from the point of view of one of her hospital visitors, turns into an intriguing developing narrative that’s amusing, captivating, and weirdly heartwarming.

I felt slightly uncomfortable with some of the way the narrative was presented. Two of the characters had their accents rendered into the text, which in one case was used for almost slapstick comic effect and in the other I found hard to read, breaking the flow of the reading experience.

Overall though surprisingly great, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up her other novels and read them now too.

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