Oh Dear Silvia: A Novel

( 1 )

Overview

Silvia Shute has always done exactly what she wants. But after a fall from a balcony, her life has suddenly, shockingly stopped. Now she's unconscious in a hospital bed, at the mercy of the mad friends and crazy relatives who have come to visit. Her beleaguered ex-husband, her newly independent daughter, her West Indian nurse, her bohemian sister, her best friend, her enthusiastic housekeeper, and others all share a piece of their mind with the woman—the bad mother, the cherished sister, the selfish wife, the ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.51
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$24.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (30) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $5.99   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Oh Dear Silvia: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

Silvia Shute has always done exactly what she wants. But after a fall from a balcony, her life has suddenly, shockingly stopped. Now she's unconscious in a hospital bed, at the mercy of the mad friends and crazy relatives who have come to visit. Her beleaguered ex-husband, her newly independent daughter, her West Indian nurse, her bohemian sister, her best friend, her enthusiastic housekeeper, and others all share a piece of their mind with the woman—the bad mother, the cherished sister, the selfish wife, the matchless lover, the egotist, the martyr—they think they know.

And Silvia can't talk back.

As she lies there, captive to the beloveds, the babblers, and the stark-raving bonkers who visit her bedside, the dark and terrible secret she has been hiding for years begins to emerge. Like it or not, the truth has come to pay Silvia a visit.

Again, and again, and again . . .

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The eponymous Silvia of this darkly comic novel, the second from popular British comedienne French, lies in a coma after a fall from her balcony. Each chapter features a visitor to her bedside, including Ed, her banally silly ex-husband; Jo, her frighteningly silly sister; Cat, her “best best ever friend” (self-described); Winnie, her good-hearted Jamaican nurse; Tia, her not-so-good-hearted East Asian housekeeper; and her estranged adult children, Jamie and Cassie. Their musings, elliptically, relate how Silvia came to be lying in a coma in a hospital somewhere in England, and, more tellingly, reveal something of the visitors’ own lives. With a couple of exceptions (Winnie and Jamie), those lives are maddeningly inane: Ed tries (and predictably fails) to kill himself; Cat can’t believe Silvia doesn’t share her romantic feelings; and Jo is an “unhinged woman with acres of confidence, which is a worrisome combination.” All three make the novel an uneasy, uneven mixture of farce and pathos, but it’s funny and, occasionally, impressively well written. One section, about Jamie’s experience in Afghanistan, is particularly fine, but very much at odds with the otherwise slapstick tone. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (June)
Library Journal
While Silvia is in a coma as a result of a fall from a balcony, her life story is revealed through those who come to visit her in the hospital and by her nurse Winnie. Silvia's sister Jo has felt responsible for Silvia's well-being since their mother died when they were children and is sure she can coax her out of her unresponsive state. Ex-husband Ed is a faithful visitor as he relives their happier times, and Silvia's estranged daughter, Cassie, finds a way to mend the fissures between herself and her mother. Housekeeper Tia makes the most of her employer's hospitalization as Silvia's lover Cat becomes more manic with each visit. It soon becomes clear that being unconscious has greatly improved Silvia's relationship with those closest to her. But Silvia has had strained relationships with them for years—could one of them be responsible for her fall? VERDICT Making her U.S. debut, British comedian (French and Saunders) and writer French has written a laugh-out-loud novel that is interestingly narrated in alternating chapters by characters with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This is sure to appeal to fans of contemporary British humor like Absolutely Fabulous or Bridget Jones's Diary with a dash of mystery mixed in.—Karen Core, Detroit P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
Will Silvia, who's in a coma in the hospital, ever speak again? If not, then her visitors, friends and family will help piece together her story, while also revealing their own. Popular British television comedian French, who has already published two best-sellers in the U.K., makes her American debut with a downbeat story of family fracture narrated from multiple perspectives, using voices sometimes profane, sometimes strongly colored by dialect for comic effect, although the result is more clumsy than funny. If there's a plot, it's the mystery of why Silvia Shute became a different woman five years ago, suddenly divorcing her husband and estranging herself from her two children. The explanation emerges through the drip-drip repetitive pattern of chapters devoted to the individual visitors to her bedside after her mysterious three-story fall, each of these characters heavily delineated on each visit. Wacky sister Jo tries many offbeat remedies to wake Silvia up, even bringing a male stripper to the hospital bedside. Friend Cat and Indonesian housekeeper Tia reveal agendas, while busy Nurse Winnie tells her own tale while tending to Sylvia's physical needs. It's a labored form, and the conclusion is thin. French has a big, buoyant TV personality; how different from this dull, incomplete little story.
RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“Celebrated English actress and comedian French makes her American literarydebut with a deeply compelling story.”
Sunday Times (London)
“Fresh, extremely funny.”
Daily Mail (London)
Really enjoyable and highly recommended. Dawn French is a wonderful writer - witty, wise and poignant
Good Housekeeping
A hilarious and compelling read
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062271815
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. As a writer, comedian, and actor, she has appeared in some of Great Britain's longest-running and most celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, Murder Most Horrid, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and, most recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In. Her bestselling memoir, Dear Fatty, was published in the United Kingdom to critical acclaim, and her first novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, was a number-one UK bestseller.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)