British. Grew up in Leicester. Left home at 20 to work as nanny for Mary-Kay Wilmers, long term editor of the London Review of Books, and care for the two children she had with director Stephen Frears. Not surprisingly, Nina encountered mucho literary types there. After leaving, she obtained a degree in humanities, worked in publishing, and started writing both fiction and non-fiction. Love, Nina is a memoir of her time at the Wilmers residence that was adapted for television by Nick Hornby. This is the third in a series about Lizzie Vogel, a girl who grows up just outside Leicester in a dysfunctional family. It won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction.
You don’t need to have read the first two books Man at The Helm (2014), and Paradise Lodge (2016) because Ms Stibbe fills in enough detail to get by. It’s 1980. Lizzie is now 18, and has moved on from jobs caring for the elderly and for succulents at a nursery. She finds employment with an unpleasant xenophobic dentist named J P Wintergreen, lives in town in a flat above the surgery, but remains in frequent contact with her dissolute mother, who is trying to write a novel. Sundry ridiculous stuff happens. British dentistry on the NHS, or the lack of it, cops a serve. Our gal finds love, loses it in unusual fashion, but, in the great British tradition, keeps calm and carries on, which includes some unauthorised but surprisingly competent amateur dentistry.
Caricatures all. Ms Vogel is the female Adrian Mole.
Matter-of-fact delivery a la Sue Townsend.
Reasons to Be Cheerful Part 3 was a hit for Ian Dury and The Blockheads at the time, which is mentioned in dispatches. This is part 3 in Ms Stibbe’s trilogy. Spooky, eh? Otherwise, it’s is Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years with a female protagonist and commentary about NHS dentistry and race relations. My amusement level started declining 30% of the way through and kept going from there.
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (General UK); 1 edition (18 February 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0241974984
- ISBN-13: 978-0241974988
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 181 g
- Customer Reviews: 43 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)