Book Review: Oh Dear Silvia, Written by Dawn French ISBN: 9780141046358

Oh Dear Silvia


This book has sat on my bookshelf for some time now so I thought I should hurry up and read it seeing as Dawn’s new book According to Yes was published a few weeks ago!

I have read Dawn’s first Book, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, and even though I finished it and it was an okay read, I wasn’t that overly impressed if I’m honest. The story was great but I found her writing a bit forced and her style slightly too much for my liking. I think it was worse because I am a huge fan of Dawn’s and I therefore had very high expectations. However, that didn’t stop me from buying Oh Dear Silvia and I’m really glad I did because I loved this book. Dawn’s writing style has mellowed slightly (not as catty and sarcastic in this one) and I really enjoyed the concept of this book.

Although the book is titled Silvia, we never actually get to hear Silvia herself talk because she is in a coma, resulting from a nasty fall, from the beginning to end of the book. Instead we are treated to chapters from her family members and friends point of views who each keep a vigil at her bedside and in turn reveal so much more about Silvia’s character through their own interpretations on their relationships with her.

The concept is very clever and I was amazed at how much of a picture I was able to build up of a woman who never utters a word, but what was so captivating about this book was the heartbreak witnessed as the immediate family relationship broke down, particularly when for most of the book there is simply no explanation as to why. Dawn has beautifully presented two sides of a marriage breakdown and has perfectly portrayed the repercussions that are often felt for many years after when parents decide to divorce.

I feel that Dawn has found her best writing style in Oh Dear Silvia and is more comfortable with her second fiction book and I have high hopes for According to Yes, which I have a feeling Father Christmas may just be leaving a copy of under my tree on Christmas morning!


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