Editor's Lit: October
Time Out says
Will you tell all to a person in a coma or assist with one’s wish to commit suicide? Both books will get you thinking about it. In fact, Su Aziz is still deliberating on it and only stopping to enjoy the 25 per cent discount voucher that comes with these two.
What is more fun than reading a book loaded with faulty, bruised characters? The fact that when you laugh out loud at them, it hurts no one. This is what it’s like to read comedic actress Dawn French’s second novel ‘Oh Dear, Silvia’ (Penguin/RM35.50). However, it’s not all giggles and good times with this book. There’s a dose of bleak and dark here too.
Comatose after falling off her balcony, Silvia’s life comes to a standstill with a machine doing the breathing for her and visits by a collection of mad, eccentric characters in the name of family, ex-husband and friends. Without saying a word, Silvia’s character and life story are revealed through various confessions by her visitors who find ease and safety in telling honest-truths to one bogged down by a coma.
Slowly, you’ll learn how Silvia’s a terrible mother, a self-absorbed wife, resented but loved sister and holds so, so many layers of secrets. Secrets that in turn reveal just how little her loved ones actually know and understand her.
Clever, perceptive, deceptively funny, disturbingly honest, this book told in multiple narrative style, will make you contemplate on just how much you let on to the outside world about yourself. If any, at all.
While Silvia got into her state involuntarily, Lottie Moggach’s ‘Kiss Me First’ (Picador/RM50.90) tells of a sophisticated but depressive woman who chooses to end her life willingly. But. With a complex catch – when the time comes for her to commit suicide, her loved ones must never know immediately that she’s dead.
So, the plot unfolds. A syndicate run by an elusive web master who lures solitary oddballs via his website that holds open forum on social issues to impersonate, for a while, the ones who plan to ‘check out’. Moggach narrows in on to one in particular, Leila who is a young woman with no family to speak of and believes in self-ownership where you have the right to choose when and how your life ends. Yes, in short, an easy target for the impersonating task at hand.
Having learnt everything about the depressive woman’s life, Leila becomes her after ‘check out’ date and communicates via Facebook, e-mails and even leaving phone messages of pre-recorded messages for family and close friends telling of a life-changing move to a remote island and pretending a more peaceful existence.
Gripping yet a light read, the end will leave you wondering just where do you stand on matters involving the right to choose, Euthanasia and consequences of telling (sort of) white lies.
BORDERS’ DISCOUNT VOUCHER FOR OCTOBER 2013
Get 25 per cent discount on ‘Oh Dear Silva’ and/or 'Kiss Me First’ by either printing out this voucher or flashing this page on your phone to a Borders’ cashier upon payment. This offer is only valid in Borders Queensbay Mall until Oct 31, 2013. Printed or digital coupon is valid for one-time use only and is not valid with other promotions.