Friday, 20 May 2011

May Contain Nuts, But Must Consume

In my last bookish post I said that I was going to read a particular book but actually have ended up reading something completely different.

May Contain Nuts by John O'Farrell was a Christmas present from a very dear friend. It has been on my 'must read' shelf since then and one morning, when I knew I was taking our class swimming and I would have 30 minutes spare while they had their lesson, I grabbed it from the shelf and shoved it in my bag for later.

The book proved to be a really witty read. It tells the story of Alice, an over-anxious middle-class mother who desperately wants to do the best for her children. In particular it focuses on the efforts and lengths that she and her husband go to whilst trying to get their eldest child Molly into a public school in Chelsea.

From the opening chapter, as Alice causes a car crash after ambushing an unsuspecting speeding driver with a mannequin dressed as Tony Blair in school uniform, this is a real laugh-out-loud novel. However, the measure of comedy and sarcasm has been well-judged by Farrell and the happy yet politically correct ending rounds of the book nicely.

The only real fault with the book was the just a little over idealised tone towards the end. It had a very warm conclusion and I had gone from being rather annoyed with the central character Alice at the beginning to liking her at the end.  However, the mood in the final chapters suggests that inner-city state schools are great places to attend and are environments where everyone gets on together. From experience, I know this not to necessarily be the case.

Nevertheless I would really recommend this book to anyone who wants an interesting easy read and a good giggle. I'm sure that many parents coming towards the secondary school application period or those with teenage children would find this very amusing.

For my third and likely final read in May, I've just begun reading Nella Last's Peace. This has been on my 'must read' shelf for over two years which is a real surprised as I loved reading Nella Last's wartime diaries when I was at university. I shall let you know how this one as soon as I've finished it.


  1. Sounds fun - I will have to seek it out from the library!

    Pomona x

  2. Totally agree. Its a very New Labour era book but I enjoyed it muchly and thought you would to x

  3. I love laugh-out-loud books! Glad you are finding time to read.