“I loved this book. Light reading - yet moving and above all - really funny and spot on. Written in a diary form, by Mo the pyschologist mother and her two teenage children.... Great read!”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“A sudden visit to hospital meant my daughter gave this to me to read. I had previously read Dear Fattie and enjoyed it. Because of my inability to sleep in a busy ward, I persevered with A Tiny Bit Marvellous and it got better. I found Dora unbelievably irritating and Oscar just unbelievable. A...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I loved this book. Light reading - yet moving and above all - really funny and spot on. Written in a diary form, by Mo the pyschologist mother and her two teenage children.... Great read!”Barbara G wrote this review Saturday, February 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Yet again she has managed to write about another dysfunctional family. This time her unique style of writing touches on the evils of modern technology and once again the weaknesses and strengths of a family unit. A very easy read!”Boudicea wrote this review Friday, February 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Quite a lot of fun!”kaisievic wrote this review Saturday, September 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm often a bit wary about books by celebrity authors. I always wonder if they got published on the merit of their writing or because of who they are. Of course, Dawn French is a very talented comedian, so you'd expect something amusing, at least. But can she make a story out of it? In the first few chapters (very short chapters) I was still wondering. The scenario of a desperately dysfunctional family, composed entirely of eccentric characters constantly misunderstanding each other, was certainly amusing and the language colourful. But as I got further into the story, I discovered something deeper. Yes, it was funny, but it was also sometimes touching, sometimes poignant, and sometimes even thought provoking. The character development I thought was excellent. Angry, foul-mouthed, vulnerable and insecure daughter Dora. Son Peter, desperately trying to be Oscar Wilde. Mo, the mother, the Child Psychologist who can't understand her own children. Those are the three who's voices we here - but the other characters come through as well. Dad - the glue that holds them all together. Mo/s Mother, the Grandma who's deep insight is matched by a remarkable ability to bake the right cake for the right person (reminded me of Joanne Harris's 'Chocolat!). (The cake recopies at the end of the book are a nice touch!) Even the minor charachters are well drawn - often amusing, but with depth. For many people, the three person POV or the admittedly awful language might be off putting. But this shouldn't be dismissed as simply 'Light and trite'. Dawn French is trying to do a lot more here, and for me, she succeeds. ”Paul Trembling wrote this review Saturday, August 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Sweet. Not bad for a first attempt at a novel. Some truly funny moments and some that actually made me cry a bit.”londonpenguin wrote this review Monday, August 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A sudden visit to hospital meant my daughter gave this to me to read. I had previously read Dear Fattie and enjoyed it. Because of my inability to sleep in a busy ward, I persevered with A Tiny Bit Marvellous and it got better. I found Dora unbelievably irritating and Oscar just unbelievable. A good read if you're an insomniac but I wouldn't have bought it.”Sharon Jenkins wrote this review Thursday, July 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The kind of book you're not sure whether you're going to like, but you can't put it down. You laugh out loud & can relate to some of the characters. Loved it! :)”Heidi C wrote this review Saturday, June 30, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A laugh-out-loud piece. Really enjoyed it and the darker ending just topped it off nicely, weirdly!”Gemma D wrote this review Wednesday, May 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Kind of an A-ok novel. the content itself is not so heavy and i'm amazed by how swiftly french had successfully shifted her POVs from a character to another.”Nabilah M wrote this review Wednesday, April 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The Battle family consists of Dad, Mo, and two teenagers, Dora, seventeen and in a constant fight with her mother, and Oscar, who has taken the name of his great example, Oscar Wilde, but is really called Peter.
Dora is about to take her exams, but has recently broken up with her boyfriend, her mother doesn’t understand her, and she doesn’t really see any use in studying. Her life is one big misery.
Oscar doesn’t fit in at school, but he has formed his own little clique, called The Enchantings, a group of four or so boys, that sexually lean the same way as he does.
When a new assistant comes to work at Dora’s practice, where she works as a child psychologist, Oscar falls in love. Noel, the new assistant, pursues Dora instead. Some embarrassing moment follow when Oscar declares his love. Dora is tempted to start an affair with Noel, but she knows this is not very sensible.
Dad, whose name we do not find out until the end, is in the background keeping quiet. He becomes a hero when he protects Dora from a dubious guy.
Mo, Dora and Oscar alternately tell their story, with one chapter by Dad towards the end.
The characters in this book are fun, but rather cliché and I tired of them after a while. For instance, there is Dora who will not see anything good in her mother, who is fighting against everything and everyone, and is the most unreasonable person ever. Teenager, you say? Yes, but hey, even a teenager takes breaks from hating the world every now and then. Dora doesn’t.
What I did like was that Mo, as a child psychologist, found herself to be very good at understanding teenagers and talking to them. However, she also says how she doesn’t seem to get through to Dora at all and doesn’t know how to communicate with her. That these two bits of information are contradictory, she doesn’t seem to notice.
A similar thing: Dora loves talking to her grandma, Pamela, and wishes her own mother (Mo) would respect Pamela more and listen to her wise suggestions. Erm… She doesn’t realise that she is exactly the same with her own mother. Another funny bit, then.
Oscar was an awkward teenager in a totally different way from Dora. He wanted a proper gentleman’s necktie and had himself measured for a suit, then realising that 50 pounds isn’t going to get him a tailored suit. He talks/writes in what he thinks is an Oscar Wilde (old-fashioned upper-class) way, which was funny to start with but I got bored of it soon. Dora uses “like” in every other sentence instead.
Things happen, especially to Dora and Mo, but for a lot of the time, I wasn’t too interested in the story. The ending is good, though.”