The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year

  • by Sue Townsend
  • Narrated by Caroline Quentin
  • 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner: Audiobook of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
The day her children leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. She's had enough - of her kids' carelessness, her husband's thoughtlessness and of the world's general indifference. Brian can't believe his wife is doing this. Who is going to make dinner? But Eva won't budge; and soon she realises to her horror that everyone has been taking her for granted - including herself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Story, Silly Accents

Eva’s obnoxious cheating husband and emotionally retarded twins have taken her for granted throughout her married life, so when the kids leave for University, she takes to her bed. This story tells of her transformation and the characters that come into her life after she starts to live in her bedroom. I really enjoyed this audio book, as I could really identify with the main character Eva. Some of the dialogue really hit home, as I too am around the same age as the main character, have a girl and boy and a (ex) husband who was a waste of space!

But what slightly spoiled it for me was Caroline Quentin’s ridiculous accent for some of the characters, particularly Ruby, Eva’s Mum. I actually found myself mocking the reader back as some of the pronunciation was so ludicrous (supposedly a Leicester accent?)

However, I would still recommend any woman, or man, come to that, of a certain age to listen to this book as much of it will hit home. Although the theme is slightly melancholy, there are loads of laugh out loud moments and hilarious situations.
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- Beatrice

Shallow and Ignorant

When I saw the blurb for this book, I thought it sounded like an interesting idea and expected a bit of a commentary on modern stresses and how it can compel people to give up altogether or avoid their problems. There is so much potential here for an engaging, moving, and humourous story - Instead, I got a woman going to bed for a year for no reason whatsoever, in a badly-paced, unoriginal, shallow story with no understanding of the human issues involved. The protagonists were not only unlikeable but uninteresting, and the so-called "humour" was juvenile, unfunny, and often bad taste. There is a whole section purely about body waste and the woman's crusade to find someone to get rid of her excretions in bags because she doesn't want to go to the bathroom anymore! No reason given. There is no indication of depression mental illness or bad experiences to explain her reluctance. She simple appears to be a spoiled brat.

This brings me to my major grievance with the novel: because of the lack of reasonable explanation for Eva's taking to her bed, the whole premise serves as a great big slap in the face to those, like myself, who are condemned by ill health to spend much of their lives in bed. I would LOVE to be able to do more; to go to the supermarket on my own, to get married and have children and a normal life, as Eva had beforehand. Seeing this character wilfully making everyone run around after her when there appears to be nothing wrong with her made me so angry I could happily have throttled her, when I often make myself ill trying to do more than I should so I'm not a burden to others. And yes, I have suffered from serious depression, and believe me, it is nothing like this. If depression is meant to be the cause for her choices, then the portrayal is sadly lacking.

I actually couldn't finish; I kept listening for as long as I could in the hopes that Eva would learn a lesson or that the characters would grow from the experience, but I couldn't stand it
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- Melissa "xenutia"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-02-2012
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks