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The day her gifted twins leave home for university, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For seventeen years she's wanted to yell at the world, 'Stop! I want to get off.' Finally, this is her chance. Perhaps she will be able to think. Her husband Dr Brain Beaver, an astronomer who divides his time between gazing at the expanding universe, an unsatisfying eight-year-old affair with his colleague Titania and mooching in his shed, is not happy. Who will cook dinner? Eva, he complains, is either having a breakdown or taking attention-seeking to new heights. But word of Eva's refusal to get out of bed quickly spreads. Alexander the dreadlock white-van man arrived to help Eva dispose of all her clothes and possessions and bring her tea and toast. Legions of fans are writing to her or gathering in the street to catch a glimpse of this 'angel'. Her mother Ruby is unsympathetic: She'd soon get out of bed if her arse was on fire.' And, though the world keeps intruding, it is from the confines of her bed that Eva at last begins to understand freedom.
The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year is a funny and touching novel about what happens when someone stops being the person everyone wants them to be. Sue Townsend, Britain's funniest writer for over three decades, has written a brilliant novel that eviscerates modern family life.
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"Have you had medical training?" asked nurse Spears. "No." said Eva who could see where this exchange was leading. "But I'm fully qualified to have an opinion about my own body. I've been studying it for fifty years."
I haven't used my brain for so long, the poor thing is huddled in a corner, waiting to be fed.