We have the most amazing children’s toy and bookshop near us.
A big shout out to Under The Greenwood Tree, which really has taken the pain out of buying presents for the endless birthday parties children seem to be invited to. (They even wrap the presents – and you can get a cup of tea and a cake while they’re doing it!)
Anyway, I sent my husband and daughter up there the other day to buy a birthday present for some classmate or other and they came back not only with a beautifully wrapped gift for an 8-year-old but also a present for this 40-something year old.
Because not only do they sell kids’ books, they have a small selection for adults as well which included May We Be Forgiven, winner of the women’s prize for fiction and one of the strangest books I've read for a while.
I wasn't familiar with AM Homes before, but she has apparently been compared with Bret Easton Ellis and she certainly has the same penchant for very black comedy.
May We Be Forgiven is in summary the story of a dysfunctional American family, principally in the persons of Harry, an under-achieving academic, and the brother he despises, George, a very successful TV executive with a terrible temper.
So much happens in the book that it would be pointless trying to summarise the plot. You really need to read it and be prepared to go wherever it takes you...
When my daughter picked up the book in the shop, she apparently said: "I think Mummy would like this." I don’t know on what evidence she based that, but she was right. I did.