Three Cheers for Paul Magrs.
Sometimes a book comes along that sticks with you – and a dinner party conversation had me blushing that I’d read and enjoyed this book but never reviewed it as a vote of ‘thanks’ on Amazon. ‘Never the Bride’ by Paul Magrs is one of those books – light , witty, dark, wildly imaginative but totally plausible and full of surreal characters that are strangely…real.
Take Brenda and Effie – two elderly women living in Whitby – well I’m not going to give the game away but any book with the a character called Stella Manchu gets five stars from me even before the off. Add to that the loathsome Mrs Christmas in her motorised wheelchair, Effie’s odd ancestry and the fact that Brenda is at least two hundred years old and a holiday by the sea may never be the same again.
The whole point of an improbable story is its plausibility and that’s the skill of a master story-teller, creating clearly drawn characters that have a distinct voice lifting them beyond the stereotype of two potty old women and into a world where they just might actually exist. True some of the situations get a little side tracked by a couple of sub-stories but to be honest I was too hooked to care.
And if ‘Never the Bride’ wasn’t riches enough Paul Magrs has also given us ‘Something Borrowed’ and ‘Conjugal Rites’. None of them will change your life, unless you rank reading with a smile on your face a life-changing experience – well maybe we all should?
© Ian Ashley 2014