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Definitely listen to the audio version.

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (Unabridged Audiobook) - Sue Townsend, narrated by Caroline Quentin

This was the perfect book to dip in and out of while driving, but as an in-depth read, it was severely lacking. According to the cover of the CD I was listening to, the book was shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards, but I didn't find it award-worthy; it was entertaining but seemed incomplete and definitely unbelievable. The narration by Caroline Quentin added enormously to my enjoyment and raised my star rating to 3.


The day Eva's super-bright twins leave home for university, she gets into bed and refuses to leave. Access to the bathroom is by 'the white pathway', constructed from a sheet, and her feet never touch any part of the floor. Furniture is removed, the walls and floor are painted white, and there she remains, fed by members of her family who take on a rota.


There are a number of peripheral characters, with different accents performed by Ms Quentin. Some I liked, some less, some were just irritating (particularly Poppy). Each interacted to varying degrees with Eva. 

And the ending? After Eva had been in bed for a year? Hmm, I thought for a while that Ms Townsend was going to be really brave, but in the end she missed the chance to make this quite an edgy book and took the easy way out.

There was also one issue in particular that I felt was left totally unresolved, regarding the twins. (I can't say more).


I wouldn't recommend this, unless you're on a long drive and have Caroline Quentin for company.