“The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year” — Sue Townsend

Can you tell why I grabbbed this book off the shelf on Wednesday?

I thought it was a self help book and would give me tips on how to do it.    I then realised it was by Sue Townsend, one of my favourite writers.  You know Sue, her of Adrian Mole etc (can you believe that the original Adrian Mole book is 25 years old this year?).

It tells the story of Eva Beaver (what a great name) who decides that having dispatched her twin teenagers off to Leeds University she is going to take to her bed.   For a whole year.  She has wanted to stop the world and get off it for seventeen years and if she doesnt do it now, she never will.  No she isn’t ill.  No she isn’t having a breakdown.   She has just decided she doesn’t want to have to do “stuff” anymore”.

Slowly Eva also decides she doesn’t need “stuff” anymore either.   She gets rid of all the furniture in her bedroom, all her clothes, all her expensive creams and potions, even her husband is banished.   And then she has it all painted white.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go down too well with her family who insist on calling varies health professionals.  Her mother shouts “She would soon get out of bed if her arse was on fire”.

Three months in and it is December 19th:

Brian asked Eva “What are  we  doing for Christmas?”

Eva said “I will be doing nothing at all”

Brian was shocked.   “So you are expecting me to do Christmas?”

Eva forced herself to remain silent.

“I don’t even know where you keep Christmas”

How many of us can relate to that?  It just about sums it all up for me.  Eva has decided she doesn’t want to be the person she is expected to be anymore.  She wants to be her and feels she can only do that by taking to her bed.

As always, Sue Townsend is spot on with her comic observation of normal family life.  This book isnt going to change the world, or in fact leave you thinking it is the best book ever written, but then Sue Townsend never sets out to do that.

It’s a beach read.   A great summer read that will have you nodding along in agreement.


Out now, published by Penguin Books.   RRP  £18.99 in hardback

and if you buy from Waterstones or Amazon via www.give.as/mummybarrow you could earn a % for a charity of your choice.



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  • omg I am stupidly excited about a new Sue Townsend book. Must head to Waterstones later!

    When my children have moved out I’d love to take to my bed for a year. I’d happily do it now if I thought hubby could cope!

  • Please, please tell me this is out in paperback, I love Sue Townsend and NEED it for my holiday?