Reading in Bed
Opening at the Hay Festival, and ending with the prospect of a spring wedding, Sue Gee's novel is a lively story of tangled relationships and the sustaining powers of good books, loyal friends and conversation.
Friends since university, with busy working lives behind them, Dido and Georgia have long been looking forward to carefree days of books and conversation, when each finds herself caught up in unexpected domestic drama. Dido, for the first time, has cause to question her marriage; widowed Georgia feels certain her husband will return to her. Meanwhile, an eccentric country cousin goes wildly off the rails, children are unhappy in love, and perfect health is all at once in question.
Health Professional Review
Health Professional Reviewer: Rebecca Hennephof, Registered Nurse, Family Mental Health Service. Reviewed 29 March 2016.
Book Title: Reading in Bed
Author(s): Sue Gee
Date published: 2007
Suitable for: Those who may be facing or in retirement or who may have friends family who are aging and confronting major changes to their relationships, health and life. Intermediate reading level.
Problems addressed: Aging, grief, relationships
This novel is a thought provoking look at the lives of two sixty-year-old friends -Georgia and Dido who have been friends since university. Georgia and Dido have to deal with a full range of uncomfortable issues: bereavement, serious illness, betrayal, an ageing relative, worrying adult offspring and the emptiness of retirement. At times, it’s a pretty bleak but honest appraisal of the lives of these two women as they enter retirement and reflect upon the reality of their lives.
The use of humour and clever character description help to create empathy with these two women. Whilst their longstanding friendship is initially strained by the above stressors it galvanises and guides them through.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
This book is easy to read however the use of hyphens was distracting at times
I enjoyed the honesty in which it was written, it didn’t pull any punches about the reality that some people will face with aging. It was however written with dignity and humour and this enabled me to read this book to the end.
I would recommend this book to people facing retirement or who are experiencing changes to their health, relationships as they age.
It would be useful for someone who has experienced the death of a spouse as it provides a realistic insight into one woman’s journey.
Just a word of caution it is not a jolly book rather a poignant exploration of what some people face as they age.