Edna and Genevieve Escape from Curmudgeon Avenue by Samantha Henthorn – episodes from modern life

 

An interesting and episodic novel, this third volume of the Curmudgeon Avenue tales features the further adventures of characters established in the first two books. However, it can be read as a standalone novel with some enjoyment as the characters quickly emerge from the writing, and the setting becomes established early on. The style of this novel is of a series of events which span before the book begins and will continue afterwards.Shifting from France to Whitefield, near Manchester, England, this book is written from the unique point of view of a house, being a book of fast moving gossip type action, as romance of many types is explored with varying degrees of sympathy. It is an interesting book to be given the opportunity to read and review for a blog tour.

 

The book opens with the characters named in the title, Edna and Genevieve, enjoying life in a holiday gite in France. Discovering the delightful custom of buying fresh bread twice a day and actually living in the country with cheese and wine always available seems idyllic until a substantial storm floods the house, and they are effectively marooned with only gallons of wine for company. They have escaped from Curmudgeon Avenue, only to discover that France has its challenges as well.They are forced to move on, and their new hosts soon have doubts as to their lodgers suitability. Meanwhile, back in the Avenue, Ricky Ricketts is enjoying his visit to Mrs Ali’s shop, as they discover much mutual curiosity over the plans of Matteo Dubois, who has just moved into the Avenue after much confusion as to his identity. It emerges that he is apparently the adopted son of Genevieve, whose disappearance has been causing him difficulties. Meanwhile a memorable comedy couple, Harold and Edith, go about their odd and accident prone lives in their house next to Matteo’s, and when work begins in the house they are interested to know what is going on. More fascinating still is Edith’s son, Ricky’s, love life, as he seems to be linked to two separate women who are both showing signs of pregnancy. Many accidents and incidents ensue, such as stuck lifts, abandoned day trips and the contact with a much missed dog via skype. As the vaugeries of speed dating are explored and the  dangers of casual social media use exposed, the dynamic pace of this novel is well maintained.

 

This book has some difficulties with editing, but happily this does not significantly affect the flow of the book’s story. It is successful in terms of plot resolution and characters, and it succeeds in creating a certain confused drama out of the events of extreme daily life in the twenty first century. This is basically a good light read, with some unique ideas and interesting observations. Fans of television serials will relish the fast moving nature of this book, and it is ideal to pick up as it does not waste words. I hope that the characters go onto further adventures which result in such comedic results.    

 

We are still recovering from a concert featuring trains, stations and music played on a cinema organ in the church hall. Sixty five people turned up to witness us reading and singing (no solos for me!), refreshments on offer and £220 raised for the local air ambulance. A good evening for all I hope!