Title: A Tiny Bit Marvellous
Author: Dawn French
Published By: Penguin Books
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Date Read: May 7 2015
A Tiny Bit Marvellous is written by British actor and comedian, Dawn French. This novel follows a woman and her two teenage children. The story is loosely written in a diary type format changing perspectives between the three main characters and chronicling their lives in a small Berkshire town.
Mo Battle: Wife, Mother of two and child psychologist is nearing her 50th year and is beginning to realise that she isn’t as young as she once was.
Dora Battle: At 17 years old, she is nearing the end of high school with no real aspirations other than being an X-Factor winning superstar.
Peter Battle: Also known as Oscar, in homage to his idol Oscar Wilde, he has the style of Kurt from Glee and the vocabulary of Finch from American Pie. At just 16 years old, he falls head over heels for his mother’s intern a 30-something named Noel.
In the beginning, I had some trouble getting into A Tiny Bit Marvellous. For quite some time it didn’t feel as if the story was going anywhere and parts were quite long winded, with excessive rambling and question marks. I was quite unsure if I would continue on, but because I like the contemporary genre and diary formatting I decided to give it another shot.
My initial impression of the three characters was that they were annoying. I often wondered about the authors approach to her characters. Peter/Oscar’s point of view was by far the most interesting. Dora on the other hand had a superficial attitude that was way over the top. Her disrespect towards her mother was appalling. Mo was prone to going off on unnecessary tangents. She also made some remarks towards her children that left me shocked. It seemed as if the author wrote them this way in a bid to be humorous. Normally I enjoy British comedy, but this disrespect did not make me laugh, at all. Perhaps it is because I wasn’t raised this way, I couldn’t fathom calling my parents the things Dora says to and about hers. The irony of it all was that Mo’s self-esteem was just as low as her daughters.
Mo’s situation seemed under developed to me. As if the author waited too long into the book to introduce her main conflict. In turn it was rushed and left without the proper emotion and connection to make if effective.
However I think that after some time I became adjusted to personalities and was able to get through the novel quickly. Despite the problems I listed, A Tiny Bit Marvellous did keep my attention throughout. Unfortunately I don’t think that I would recommend it for others to read.