The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year by Sue Townsend

Last year I set myself a new year’s resolutions of reading 18 books in 2016, yet I read a grand total of 8 books. I love to read, yet I barely have do not make the time. Therefore this year I have set myself a more realistic target of 12 books, one a month. My book of choice for January was The Woman who went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend. I picked this up without any idea what the book was about, but because it was by Sue Townsend, bestselling author of Adrian Mole, I had high expectations.

The Woman who went to Bed for a Year is a story about 50 year old Ava who has decided to retire to bed for a year. Her twin children have just left for University, Brian, her husband, has been having an affair for years and she has just had enough. The book started off well, I was intrigued to find out how she would spend her time in bed, there was a story line developing about the twins University life and Brian was openly spending time with his lover. Unfortunately the stories failed to develop momentum and so I was never really gripped.

When in bed, Ava had all the time in the world, yet she wallowed and did nothing. She gave up on her relationship with her husband, did not care that her mother in law was slowly dying, nor did she devise a way to fend for herself in bed - she fully relied on her family members. She was not a particularly likeable person, but then again neither were any of the other characters. The further I got into the book, the less interested I was. I kept holding out for some kind of plot twist, or for Ava to finally get out of bed. But there was nothing. Most of the characters in this book are very selfish and only care for their own wellbeing.

The ending is no better. It just stops. I was left feeling unsatisfied as there were so many unanswered questions. Looking back, the storyline is actually quite sad. Ava went to bed, yet the world still continued. Her family gave up on her; they did not try and help or support her despite the fact she was clearly struggling with some issues.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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