by John O’Farell
Whilst there is no recognised blueprint for being a good parent, there are some things that you instinctively know are just wrong. And as any parent will know, protecting your offspring from the darker side of the real world is a seemingly impossible task. But just how far do you go to protect your precious children? How much are you prepared to do to ensure their passage through to adulthood is a smooth as possible?
Which brings the next great question, how much should you protect them?
In Alice Chaplin’s case, the answer is quite clear; you protect them from everything and everyone. Sitting up at night popping bubble-wrap, Alice is permanently panic-stricken by all the horrors of the modern world. And what about schooling? For Alice, getting her daughter into the “best” school takes an hilarious twist when she decides to sit the entrance exam in her place.
John O’Farrell has once again produced a very funny book, made all the funnier because it comes so scarily close to reality. But that is what O’Farrell does best. His eye for detail and unmatched wit left me aghast at how far the parents are prepared to go.
I think we all know parents who seem unable to see that they are crossing the line between protecting the children and smothering them. In this satirical broadside on Middle England, O’Farrell leaves the reader in doubt that for the Chaplin’s, that line has well and truly been crossed, and the consequences force them to re-evaluate how they raise the children.
A really funny book. If you haven’t read any of John O’Farrell’s books, this is as good a place to start as any. But take it from me, once you have read one, it won’t be long before you’ve read them all.