Marie's Reviews > The More You Ignore Me

The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand
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Aug 28, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction, europe, coming-of-age

Author Jo Brand is a former psychiatric nurse-turned comedian-turned writer. Her first novel is about Alice, whose mum Gina suffers from schizophrenia. She's in and out of the mental hospital, and when she's heavily medicated, she's a shadow of her former self.

Alice and her dad Keith do their best to care for her and love her--but she's not terribly unlovable. Finally, Alice conspires to give Gina a break from her medication, and all hell breaks loose. Gina's form of mental illness is to fixate and obsess on a particular man, convinced that they are meant for each other. This time, Gina's target of affection is Alice's own obsession, Morrissey from the rock band, The Smiths.

In the Herefordshire countryside, Alice and her family are surrounded by Alice's school mates, a horrible bully, Gina's crazy family (aptly named the Wildgooses), Keith's social-climbing parents, and the family doctor (named Marie!), who is in love with Alice's dad.

The book veers into slapstick and tries to accomplish way too much at times (with bunches of side storylines), but Brand handles the subject matter sensitively and wisely. She gives insight into what it would be like to live with a mentally ill mother (or wife), and she manages to make Gina into a sympathetic figure, even as she is difficult and unlikable.
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Reading Progress

August 28, 2010 – Started Reading
August 28, 2010 – Shelved
August 30, 2010 –
page 221
August 30, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Meaghan Gina reminds me of Augusten Burroughs's mom in Running with Scissors.

Marie I never finished that book--I read half of it and then it had to go back to the library. I realized that I wasn't in love with the book because I wasn't compelled to check it out again. But I did like Burroughs' "Dry."

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