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The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year

2.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,646 Ratings  ·  1,255 Reviews
The day her twins leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For seventeen years she's wanted to yell at the world, 'Stop! I want to get off'. Finally, this is her chance. Her husband Brian, an astronomer having an unsatisfactory affair, is upset. Who will cook his dinner? Eva, he complains, is attention seeking. But word of Eva's defiance spreads. Legions of fans, b ...more
Hardcover, 437 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Michael Joseph (first published January 1st 2012)
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NearMayhem Scary I would imagine. Always having to remember your lies, always pushing, shoving through life.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 20, 2014 Bookphilia rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
Sometimes I forget that I don't have to read everything that comes into my bookstore.
Beverley Ferris
Feb 11, 2013 Beverley Ferris rated it did not like it
I was really looking forward to reading this book when I spotted it on amazon. A walk down memory lane as Adrian Mole was a fav during my teenage years.

Didn't quite know what to make of it.

I assumed it would be a parody of life. A woman who, having had a difficult life full of hardships finally giving up and retreating to bed. I kind of had in mind "The woman who walked into doors" or a "Rachael's holiday" - a story to unfold.....What I got was the story about a relatively well off , beautiful
May 02, 2012 Gerund rated it did not like it
The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year is one of the best book titles in
recent years, nay, in all of English literature. "Wow, wish I could do
that too," was the common refrain by those who spotted me reading Sue
Townsend's latest novel, accompanied by a weary, wistful sigh.

Unfortunately, the title is the best thing about this disappointing
effort by the English author of Adrian Mole fame. In a nutshell: It is
quite boring. A lot of events occur, at random, in the episodic plot,
yet nothing manages to
Sep 03, 2015 ·Karen· added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the tired
Shelves: brits
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

It's that time of year when I have to ease myself back into a routine of actually going to work, you know, getting up early, appearing in the classroom looking kempt at the very least, if not well so, and, much more to the point, with 90 minutes' worth of scintillating and rewarding activities to promote active use of English prepared. Then add on to that the private tuition, which involves careful calibration of the precise amount of chivvying,
Sep 09, 2012 ReadandRated rated it liked it
As I am currently experiencing a bit of enforced bed rest, this seemed an apt book to read!

It is billed as ‘laugh out loud’ and ‘wonderfully funny’, according to the back of the book Jeremy Paxman said “The publishers could offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t laugh and be sure they wouldn’t have to write a single cheque” – I am not so sure that I agree. It is certainly sharp and well-observed, with humorous descriptions in places, but is it a comedy? I think not.

Beautifully and intelligent
Nov 17, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
I was surprised by so many negative reviews of this book. Lightweight fiction it is but it doesn't pretend to be anything else. I was drawn to it by the name of the heroine, Eva; the fact she was a librarian and that there were twins. In fact I couldn't put the book down. I can see a Tv series being made of it - very visual! I think it's gripping because everyone has been in the situation Eva finds herself in: fed up with everyone taking her from granted. Alexander would be played by Idris Elba. ...more
Marta Bo
Dec 02, 2012 Marta Bo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: easy-read
I have never written a review in my life but there is always the first time.
I will try.

I only gave this book 2 stars instead of 1 as I didn't hate it.

Daily Mail said 'I laughed until I cried.' Sunday times also 'Laugh-out-loud...'
I guess I have no sense of humour? I laughed only 4 times at the beginning of the book.

This is a story about 50 years old Eva who went to bed for a year.
No, she wasn't in coma, she has decided to.
After 100 pages I was tired and wanted Eva to leave the bed but unfortuna
Maxine  (Booklover Catlady)
This book was in a nutshell, absolutely TERRIBLE. So, not funny at all. But hey, my review might make up for it and give you a laugh.

I was ready for some light laughter with a good chick-lit book to break up the massive amount of serial killer filled crime book and psychological thrillers that were threatening to make me permanently depressed. I picked this one off my book shelf, a REAL book, breaking away from the millions to review on my Kindle. (Rebel). I bought this at a book stall (bottom
Feb 09, 2015 Roberta rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I would probably give this book a 2.5 if that option existed, if only for the first few chapters. I've always liked Sue Townsend and found The Queen and I very funny.

This book begins with real promise. I liked the way the characters unfolded and could sympathize with Eva's weariness with the whole repetitive and thankless domestic cycle. Behind the laughter, I could feel the sadness, particularly in Brian, as horrible as he was.

But then it began to feel as if half ripe plums were being lobbed my
Dorothyanne Brown
Jan 26, 2013 Dorothyanne Brown rated it really liked it
I've been a Sue Townsend fan ever since Adrian Mole painted his room black (except for the show-through Noddy hats) in The Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4. She manages to weave humour and pathos through her books, making them eminently readable and slipping truths into them under the cover of odd characters and interesting situations.
In this book, Eva's twin children, autistic brilliants who never relate to anyone else, have left for university, and Eva decides to retire to her bed. Forever.
Sarah Goodwin
Nov 27, 2012 Sarah Goodwin rated it it was ok
I think expectations ruined this book for me. I'd read some magazine articles about it before reading, including one that said it was the book that people should be obsessing over, instead of the 50 Shades series (which I heavily dislike). The cover quotes were also very exciting, saying it was hysterically funny, witty, passionate etc etc.

I've read maybe one other Sue Townsend book, and that was The Queen and I. So, I didn't know what to expect from this book, and I'm still not sure what catego
Apr 18, 2013 Raz rated it it was ok
Shelves: comedy
This was ostensibly a comedy novel about a woman whose life was not going the way she wanted it to.

I won't write a detailed review, just a few pros and cons.

- Some bits were funny. (Only some.)
- Idea of someone giving up on life & hiding under duvet is both easy to relate to and yet absurd, thought it was a good premise for a comedy novel.
- Parts about the twins were good.

- Main character wasn't likeable. Can imagine the same plot written to make the main character seem despairing
Tania Lukinyuk
Mar 06, 2013 Tania Lukinyuk rated it it was ok
I was going to give it 3 stars. I ended with two because of very poor ending. It is an easy read, yet the one which leaves you with major question of why you wasted all that time reading about a fifty-year old eccentric woman along with all other eccentric English people of various ages in the novel which clearly demonstrates how very strange and different Englishmen are. The novel is based on strong social irony but to my taste it was at times too straightforward and primitive to be enjoyable.
This book was a little strange and whilst I wanted to like it a lot, mainly on the merit of the author, I’m afraid it was quite tedious to read at times.

The book definitely seems like a book of two halves to me. Fortunately the fact that Townsend is a gifted and able satirist saved the first half of the book somewhat and, as an ever-curious reader, I quite enjoyed seeing where it would all pan out around the theme of escape. The second half, however, where Eva Beaver, a ‘beautiful’ (we are told)
Louise Culmer
Sep 30, 2012 Louise Culmer rated it did not like it
I hoped this book would be funny, but sadly, it isn't. A woman called Eva decides, for no good reason that I can see, or any reason at all, to stay in bed for a year. Somewhat improbably, she manages to get several people, including her husband, mother, and mother-in-law, all running around bringing her food and drink. Even more improbaby, a handsome handyman called Alexander takes an inexplicable fancy to her, and starts running aroun waiting on her too. And people start coming to her for advic ...more
Simon Taylor
Aug 28, 2013 Simon Taylor rated it it was ok
Sue Townsend tries to be clever with The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year and is making an obvious effort to straddle comedy, drama, tragedy and social commentary. Unfortunately, the effort is more obvious than the result and the tone is uncomfortable throughout.

The plot is simple, and potentially interesting. A middle-aged woman effectively has a breakdown, decides to go to bed and stay there for a year. Her family and an expanding cast of bizarre eccentrics become entirely responsible for her
Jun 14, 2013 Rhianna rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eve Williams
Jan 24, 2013 Eve Williams rated it really liked it
Prior to reading this book, my only experiences of Sue Townsend were Adrian Mole, whom at my mother's suggestion I read when I was younger. As remarkable here as in her other writing is Townsend's ability to cloak what is, upon reflection, often quite a set of starkly grim human truths in humour.
On the day that her 17 year old twins move to university in Leeds, 50-year old Eva Beaver discovers a soup stain on the arm of the chair she painstakingly upholstered herself. This is the final straw, a
Aug 22, 2013 Minnie rated it it was amazing
This was the first Sue Townsend that I've ever read. I of course knew of Adrian Mole, but he passed me by. Perhaps other readers expected Adrian but since I had no such expectations, I revelled in this book. It is a funny quirky sad novel about what happens to a family when the glue that keeps them together, loses its "stickiness". Eva gets into bed for no clear reason. The results have far-reaching effects. The book also delivers deft comment on social media and obsessions with celebrityhood, h ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb on the cover describes the book as being hilarious, laugh-out loud stuff.
Actually, that is not entirely true. I found it rather to be profoundly sad. Sue Townsend's writing style does provide a number of laughs, mainly due to her descriptive powers and the ridiculousness of some situations. I wouldn't classify it as a hilarious book. I would say that she shows amazing insight into the quirks and hang-ups of human nature, and there are lessons to be learned from the situations that ari
Nov 25, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok
If you could sum up The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year in three words, what would they be?
Unendearing, disappointing, ambling.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
I'm afraid the ending was more than a little anticlimactic.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Quentin – was your favourite?
My favourite character was Alexander. In fact, he was the ONLY character I liked. He felt out of place in this story and almost seemed to be pining for a better book to jump into.

Megan Davis
Feb 22, 2013 Megan Davis rated it it was ok
I am sorry to have to give this book only 2 stars. Really, I am.

First, it wasn't that funny. I had hoped for laugh-out-loud comedy, like we got from The Queen and I, and Adrian Mole. Alas ...

But I suppose what I found most disappointing is that I felt Townsend only began to write something I really wanted to read when I got to the final chapter. Only then did Eva seem to be come human, likeable, and someone to sympathize with.

Other things that I found disappointing-- I didn't like most of the
Patricia Fawcett
Feb 02, 2013 Patricia Fawcett rated it did not like it
One can understand the lifelong frustration of Eva Beaver, the cliched-taken-for-granted-wife-mum-daughter-daughter-in-law who finally decides that she has had enough and takes to her bed. A long-time appreciative reader of Sue Townsend's work, I took advantage of a recent bout of flu to curl up and read this book. Initially, Eva attracts the sympathy of the reader. However, as her retreat from everyday life becomes known, she acquires cult status,ultimately becoming as selfish and demanding as ...more
May 24, 2013 Ssil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
¿A quién no se le ha pasado por la cabeza alguna vez la idea de meterse a la cama y olvidarse de todo lo demás? Pues esto es, más o menos, lo que le sucede a nuestra protagonista, Eva, que un buen día decide meterse a la cama y no salir de ella en un año. Después de que sus hijos, que con tal sólo diecisiete años ya han ingresado en la universidad, se hayan ido de casa, se ve incapaz de continuar con la rutina, es decir, con lo que ha sido su vida desde hace unos veinte años. No ama a su marido, ...more
Jade Heslin
Sep 25, 2013 Jade Heslin rated it really liked it
The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year is the story of a woman who goes to bed… For a year. And boy, do I envy her! Not only does she manage to wallow in her pit for 365 days, but she even manages to lose weight in the process. I’ll wager that if I ever attempted such a thing, I’d be a jubbering mound of lard by the end of it. Her secret: she never asks for food – she just waits it out to see who will bring it to her.

This makes me think that Eva is not suffering from agoraphobia, or a mental brea
Nick Tjaardstra
Dec 30, 2013 Nick Tjaardstra rated it liked it
A few years back, my father-in-law gave me the book 'A man without qualities'. This year he gave me 'The woman who went to bed for a year'. What does it all mean?

At any rate, seeing as he allegedly chose it "for his book club", it deserves a review.

I can barely remember Adrian Mole, so I started with a blank slate - blindly trusting the dream reviews from the Guardian and the Independent while of course dubious about the Daily Mail's 'I laughed until I cried' (reserved for 'Puckoon' and any per
Oct 15, 2013 Rachel rated it did not like it
I looked out for this book because a woman in my art group said she was reading it and it was quirky.

Note to self : don't listen to this woman again.

Ok, maybe I'm a little hard to please right now, but I'm looking for fiction that is truly quirky in the sense that it makes you smile and feel a little hopeful or feel that you have satisfactorily escaped for a while without having to really think too much.

This book is not 'quirky'. It may be a little different and ok, there were parts along the wa
Jan 06, 2013 Traci rated it did not like it
Where do I start? The title grabbed me. The jacket promised "hilarious" and "laugh out loud" so I allowed myself to be sucked in. BIG MISTAKE. I think I have a pretty well-developed sense of humor, and not once did I even snicker.

Halfway thru I was tempted to put it down and quit wasting my time because of the 10+ "main" characters, only two of them (Alexander, the handyman, and Stanley, the neighbor) were even remotely likable. But slog thru I did, just to find out how the author was going to
Elizabeth Emily Browne
I really wasn't sure about this book while I was reading it and if I'm honest I'm still not. For some reason I wasn't crazy about this book. Thinking back on it this could be a number of things:..
1. The book has been raved about that much by so many people that my expectations were ridiculously high.
2. I just didn't find the book funny regardless of the quotes underneath the blurb that it is "laugh out loud funny". Obviously I don't have a sense of humour.
3. The characters were ridiculous. I m
Apr 12, 2012 Dem rated it did not like it
The woman who went to bed for a year by Sue Townsend.

This novel was a terrible read, it had no plot, the characters were dreadful and the whole story just seemed ridiculous and had absolutely no point to it. I really cant understand how this book got published. Would have expected way better from Sue Townsend.

If you looking for something light and witty to read but has a great story line then read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
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2016 Reading Chal...: The woman who went to bed for a year - Sue Townsend 3 22 Nov 10, 2015 08:46AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. She suffered from diabetes for many years, as a
More about Sue Townsend...

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“She liked people. Me, I can take them or leave them, but mostly leave them.” 23 likes
“Will you lie to me and promise to read them? Books need to be read. The pages need to be turned.” 12 likes
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