A mother shouldn't have favourites. A brilliantly observed family drama from celebrated comedian and writer Jenny Eclair.
Jean Collins had two daughters. But she only loved one of them.
She knew it was wrong, but she just couldn't help herself. Jess was a little sweetheart, everyone said so. Anne was awkward and serious and not much fun, to be frank.
But now the years have passed. Jess is missing - run off long ago, no one knows where or why. So when Jean is left in a coma after a road accident, it's Anne who travels back up north to sit at her mother's bedside. And she wonders - why did Jean dash out into the road without looking? What distracted her? And why was she carrying a box of vanilla slices, the cream cakes she only ever bought for extra special occasions?
Meanwhile there are secrets waiting for Anne and Jean, back at the old family home. Secrets that were buried a long time ago. . .
Of course it's funny, but it's also dark, honest and totally compulsive reading - Jenny Colgan
Very dark and very funny. I had it glued to my face until I'd finished it - Jo Brand
Utterly compelling, brave, angry and melancholy all at once. It is brutal about the female experience, but also beautifully observed about the subtle complexities of being a woman. I thought Jean was an amazing character - and it is testament to Jenny's skill as a writer that despite some awful behaviour, the reader never actually loses sympathy for her. Most of all, it's just a great, honest piece of writing. I want to read her others now - Jojo Moyes
Jenny Eclair is the author of four critically acclaimed novels: Camberwell Beauty; Having a Lovely Time; Life, Death and Vanilla Slices and Moving. One of the UK's most popular writer/performers, she was the first woman to win the prestigious Perrier Award and has many TV and radio credits to her name. She lives in South-East London.