Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - A Tiny Bit Marvellous

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - A Tiny Bit Marvellous

Article excerpt

Criticising Dawn French feels like kicking a puppy. She's so winning that the nation was even tempted to let The Vicar of Dibley slide. The same is true of her debut novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Michael Joseph, £18.99), which has its heart in the right place, in spite of reading as though it's jumping up and slobbering over your trousers.

We share the alternating reflections of three members of the very middle-class Battle family:

49-year-old mother Mo, 17-year old Dora, and 16-year-old aesthete Peter (who has renamed himself Oscar, after Wilde, and says things like 'Pater' and 'le chapeau juste'), in the run-up to Mo's and Dora's watershed birthdays.

Dora struggles with her interfering mother, and feels like 'a big fat loser' when dumped by Sam Tyler, even if he is 'the world's smallest freakboy'. …

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