You know I read this years ago and it has always stuck in my head as something really interesting. There are definite flaws with this book but its got such an unusual concept that I ignored them on the first read. The second time around it was a bit harder. Maybe this just goes to show I’ve become a much harder person to please. Bookwise anyway!
So basically the story begins when Lois is 12 and she receives a handwritten book from her Aunt that has been written by her Dad before he passed away when she was five. It basically serves as a type of manual of advice for her through all her birthdays from twelve to thirty. This sounds like a good concept and even though nine times out of ten his advice was sound sometimes Lois read it the completely wrong way to which he intended her to and I got a tad frustrated by her I will admit.
First of all she’s a first-rate bitch to her poor mother and her mother’s new husband who she eternally holds a grudge against even though technically she never even knew her own father and her mam’s new husband ain’t a bad guy either. By the way, by doing this she is completely going against her dad’s wishes in the manual, which I found strange considering she’d stick like glue to some of his other wishes. This attitude doesn’t change throughout the book until she’s nearly thirty. (So we can’t blame it on a childhood phase.)
She makes pretty poor choices when it comes to men also, with none of her (many) conquests measuring up to her dead Dad. It actually seemed to me on the second read of this book that getting her father’s manual actually might have made Lois’ life a whole lot worse than if she had never received anything. She made choices completely on the advice of the book and not what she actually wanted herself and although she experienced some good things that maybe without the book she wouldn’t have, she also experienced a whole lot of unhappiness.
Everything of course comes right in the end but when we see her starting to write a manual for her own little baby-in-making I must admit I recoiled in horror a little. Why would she want to put her own child through something like that, being completely dependent on a book and someone elses opinion to make their way through life. Not me…
- Book-Inz Reads: by the time you read this (bookinz.wordpress.com)