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Swallowing Grandma

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  557 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Orphan Kat Millar seems doomed to waste her best years caring for her horribly ungrateful grandmother, Poll. But relatives Kat knows nothing about are moving in, intent on changing her life forever. I wrote Swallowing Grandma because I was again interested in the dynamic between a carer and the person receiving that care. The relationship between Kat and her troublesome ...more
Published by Picador USA (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 02, 2008 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, europe
This was a random pickup from the library, on a rare occasion when I actually went there physically instead of having my husband pick up or return books on my behalf!

I was impressed by the Sarah Bird endorsement on the back of the book. It took a few pages to get captured by the book, but once I settled in I really enjoyed it.

It is a very BRITISH book...more so than so-called "chick lit," which is often written halfway for American readers. I've been married to a Brit for 18 years now (and have
Jun 13, 2011 Mandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I really enjoyed this book, it is quite funny. It's about a teenager, Katherine (Kat) who lives with and resentfully cares for her almost blind gran. Kat and her gran don't get on. Then Callum turns up, claiming to be a cousin, and we realise from another stream of narrative, that Kat's Mum, who abandoned her as a baby, is someone that she knows. Who could it be?
Jul 17, 2011 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this very much indeed; the publisher's marketing department is doing the author no favours by trying to jacket it in with the girlie books. This is a sharp, incisive story of a fat, spotty misfit forced to live with her utterly poisonous, completely unpleasant, and entirely believable grandmother, with some eating disorders and almost-incest thrown in for good measure.
May 08, 2007 Laurie rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book though I found the ending to be a bit of a letdown. The whole thing was, at times, somewhat predictable, and the subject of Katherine's bulimia is barely touched upon despite it being a major medical and psychological issue. Regardless, as a whole it was a great read.
Carino, niente di eccezionale ma, al contrario di quanto possa sembrare dal titolo, affronta temi anche interessanti come la bulimia, i primi approcci con il sesso, la voglia di scoprire se stessi. Una chick lit piu' elevata del normale.
Juliana Graham
Jul 30, 2011 Juliana Graham rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious! Great characterisation of the 18 year old about to face the world outside her small town life and the emotional blackmail that her cantankerous old grandma inflicted. Highly recommended.
Helen Maltby
Apr 25, 2010 Helen Maltby rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this and was able to relate to Katherine's character right from the start (not that I ever lived with a poisonous grandma or anything!). This was the first Kate Long book I've read and I would now like to read her other book.
Oct 27, 2010 Koralyn rated it it was amazing
Hilariously funny, and totally down to earth. I love books that are believable, honest and realistic; this one is all three. I simply couldn't put it down.
Oct 22, 2010 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Not as good as, The Bad Mother's Handbook, but still a worthy read. Long has a real knack for getting to the core of people and finding out what makes them tick.
Jan 08, 2012 Despina rated it it was amazing
It was such an amazing book.It described the life of a young adult who tries to get through life under the pressure of her grandma.Also,it's really funny and it deserves a read!
Jan 04, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. Kate Long's books are always gritty and down-to-earth, original in concept and thought provoking. Looking out for the next one to read!
K.B. Walker
Sep 18, 2012 K.B. Walker rated it really liked it
I loved the fact this book was set in Chorley and captured the setting and characters well.
Dec 31, 2014 Lie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: long
Jackie Bessford
Jul 26, 2011 Jackie Bessford rated it it was amazing
loved it
Sreedevi Viswambaran
Jan 19, 2016 Sreedevi Viswambaran rated it it was ok
"Katherine Millar is eighteen and desperate to be less fat, less swotty, and to have cooler friends. But most of all, she wishes she had two parents, instead of one grandma, Poll. Poll is pushing seventy, half blind and utterly poisonous. She has looked after Katherine since she was a baby, when her father was killed in a car crash and her mother vanished. Poll's ambition is for things to stay exactly the same for ever, and for Katherine never to leave their pit village of Bank Top. Katherine ...more
Jun 19, 2015 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, chicklit
Kate Long è la scrittrice de Il manuale della cattiva madre, che racconta un anno di vita di tre donne (nonna, madre e nipote), una riflessione sulla vita e sui rapporti familiari femminili. Il libro mi ispirava ma non riuscivo a trovarlo, così ho ripiegato su questo, che parla comunque di rapporti familiari femminili, dato che racconta del rapporto tra Katherine, adolescente problematica, e la nonna Polly, che a causa di un problema di vista molto grave ha bisogno dell'assistenza continua della ...more
Sree Devi
Feb 03, 2016 Sree Devi rated it it was ok
I took this book for reading right after ‘The bad mothers handbook’ by the same author. Since TBMH was interesting, I was very eager to read the book. After going through the initial chapters, it was very evident that the book was going to be a bore. True to expectations, it was a very slow story. Crust of the story is very thin. There is nothing much for the readers to devour apart from the twist at the end of the story.

After all these years of reading, I strongly believe that if the readers co
Tracy Terry
Dec 20, 2012 Tracy Terry rated it it was ok
To be fair, like many things in life, humour is very much a personal thing and what makes one person laugh out loud will leave another wondering what the joke is.

Sad to say that I found myself firmly in the latter category in that I just didn't get much of the humour of the novel.

A story not just of (largely dysfunctional) relationships, Swallowing Grandma also deals with issues such as disability, teenage pregnancy, child abandonment, body image, bullying and bulimia. Hardly laugh out loud mate
Oct 19, 2013 Ilona rated it it was amazing
I picked this from the library expecting a happy, fluffy chick lit read, but instead got a darkly funny, slightly gritty, tale of growth and self-discovery. Katherine's teenage father died when she was a few months old; a few months later, her equally young mother left, leaving her in the 'care' of her small-minded, manipulative and enormously selfish paternal grandmother. How Katherine, newly self-christened 'Kat', struggles to maintain a sense of self in the face of the constant belittling of ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Lins rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads, borrowed
I was given this on a recommendation, and told I would identify with this book. While reading it, I found it hard to figure out what the person who recommended it meant by that (and whether I should be offended!), but having finished it, I can see a resonance.

This book was an easy read, with a likeable main character. The choices she makes are questionable at times, but realistic I suppose (taking up an eating disorder, for example). And the setting of a small town where everyone knows everyone
Sep 14, 2012 Gauri rated it liked it
My rating- 3.5
I picked this book from a 30% booksale ,and you know i got what i paid for.I really liked the plot line ,its funny ,intriguing and i've read this novel three times and i never get bored of it.The best thing that i liked about the novel was the names of the librarians -Ms Dragon and Ms mouse .The only minus for me was the style of writing at times but thats just me! go ahead you just might love it.
Alexandra Bengtsson
I never finished it, I don't know if I like it or not. I think the story was pretty boring, and wasn't realistic. It feels like I have heard it before, young girl, lives with her grandma, her grandma rules her life... But after a second thought I think I would have liked it if I was 10 years younger. I bet this is a very good read if you are 14-15 years old. I would love to hear someone else's opinion on it.
Philip S Davies
Feb 25, 2016 Philip S Davies rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Although by the middle I had grown weary of yet another "misery lit" story, of a poor, grim, abused upbringing, it got better by the end. It's an interesting study of family relationships, and the consequences of actions and choices. My favourite sentence, describing my old university: "Everyone's a bit weird in Oxford, so I don't stand out." Classic.
Carolyn Schofield
May 07, 2016 Carolyn Schofield rated it liked it
Very readable, but I kept wondering if I was reading a Young Adult book, as its subject matter and style were in that genre, and it would probably be quite suitable for young adult readers, except it is very light on its feet regarding the serious issue of mental illness, which it skirts around without really engaging with. Ultimately a light take on a serious topic.
Aug 25, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it
Received this as a birthday present from a friend whose judgment of books I trust unequivocally. It's not the sort of book that I would ever have chosen for myself from the blurb, but nevertheless I gave it a try. I'm glad that I did. After the first sixty pages or so, I wanted to read on. Favourite character: Miss Dragon.
Jul 26, 2011 Renske rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
De voornaamste reden dat ik dit boek zo'n lage beoordeling geef, is dat ik het gelezen heb na The Bad Mother's Handbook. Er zitten namelijk een aantal overeenkomsten in het verhaal tussen deze twee boeken van Kate Long, waardoor ik me toch echt afvroeg of ze niks anders had kunnen verzinnen.
Feb 04, 2015 Janine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern, fiction
Enjoyed this, probably because I love the old-fashioned no-nonsense attitude of said grandma.
Left me feeling that the story hadn't really ended, but that's the point.
Nothing special but an okay read if you're after something lightweight.
Feb 01, 2013 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I wanted to enjoy this book, but I found it hard to really hard to concentrate on it. The main character didn't intrigue me much, so I wasn't really motivated to keep reading it much. It was a pretty easy read, although I had some problems understanding the British English slang.
Tania Angel
Sep 02, 2016 Tania Angel rated it liked it
not my usual book I read.
highly recommended this book.
was very sensitive book..was very real life.
funny at time's.
Kate Walsh
Jul 12, 2016 Kate Walsh rated it it was amazing
So much fun!
Excellent story line.
Beautiful characterization, I love that none of the characters were 'solved' and that intricate relationship dynamics were so adequately described.
I learnt about British culture!
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Hello! And welcome to my GoodReads author page.

New: Pinterest boards! - For my new novel, Something Only We Know See where Charlotte, Karen and Nan actually live!

and my Bad Mothers Facebook page, with lots of background info on the characters and filming:

I write bittersweet nov
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