After last week’s heart-stopped, testosterone-filled spy thriller Capture or Kill, this week’s #ThumpingGoodRead2018 is a complete 180-degree-turn. And another book that I wouldn’t normally read (starting to realise how niche my reading list can be!).
It’s Celia Imrie’s Sail Away.
Everyone will know Imrie of course for her acting and has most famously appeared on TV alongside Victoria Wood in Acorn Antiquesand in films such as Calendar Girlsand – rather left-field – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
But Imrie, in latter years, has also dabbled in writing and Sail Away is her third novel. It follows two women who are in their – let’s say twilight years – Suzy Marshall and Amanda Herbert.
Through a series of misunderstandings, they both find themselves on a cruise across the Atlantic. They meet all sorts of strange people, including a few who can’t be trusted. Their lives are inter-connected in ways they don’t yet know, and they are thrown together in a way that might just solve all their problems.
Sail Away is NOT a love story.
It most books store it sits in a strange genre of books – that of general fiction, which is essentially the home for any book that isn’t a thriller, crime, sci-fi or old-lady-romance. With the soft pastel colours on the cover you might be forgiven for thinking it is a love story.
Most books are these days.
But this is a story about two women, friendship and farce.
I have a problem with ‘funny books’ – I often think humour is the hardest of all emotions to invoke in a reader. Particularly me. I *LOVE* slapstick and farce, I love watching people fall over and run in and out doors.
It’s the sort of humour that relies on fast-paced visual gags. Even if you can describe them perfectly, you probably won’t be able to do it at the pace that keeps it funny.
However Imrie manages to strike the right tone with Sail Awayand I really enjoyed it – especially as you can easily imagine the BBC turning it into a lottery-funded British film starring a list of people who all have Dame or Sir before their names.
Like I said, it’s not the sort of book that I would normally read – I love prolonged explorations of death and terrible things that make me cry – but this is the perfect book to give you a break from all the angst of those.
Next time I’m heading on holiday, I’ll definitely be looking for more books by Imrie to read around the pool.
Sail Awayis available now from Bloomsbury Publishing and will be half price in all WHSmith stores until Wednesday 13thJune.
You can find out more about Sail Away, the Thumping Good Read award and all the other contenders by visiting the WHSmith blog.