Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“On the day all this started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered.”
Having a bad week? Had a tough few days? Need to lighten the mood? This is exactly what you need to read! The British humour combined with a completely unpredictable story line make this book so memorable, and is definitely one for you if you’re looking for a light read with some hilarious characters. Thanks so much to Random Things Tours for my closing spot on this blog tour!
They say that walls have ears, and some even say that walls can talk. So when Curmudgeon Avenue takes a disliking to its new owners, the four storey Victorian terraced house starts narrating a diary about the intertwined lives of the various new inhabitants and extended family. If Curmudgeon Avenue has to put up with this set of nincompoops from Whitefield, Manchester then so should you.
Now this is what I needed to read this week! Humour, daftness and complete and utter mayhem greets you when you begin and I just couldn’t get enough. The book has a very unexpected narrator and I loved how unique this was! The house tells the story of what happens within its walls and of all the hilarious and dramatic experiences of its residents. I was so surprised as I read the opening to the book and I wasn’t quite sure how the whole thing would sit with me, but I’m so pleased to report that it is completely and utterly worth it. The pace is fabulous and the author’s tone of voice makes the story an easy and very addictive read. Such a pleasant book so far and I was looking forward to seeing where the author would take things!
As we learnt more about two main characters and sisters in the story, Edna and Edith, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. We hear so many conversations that many readers will be able to relate to so well, and it was great to hear these from the house’s point of view. From their parents getting squished by an elephant to hearing hilarious stories about ex partners, things are completely random but so so enjoyable and funny to read about. The author clearly has such a great sense of humour and without even knowing her on a personal level, I feel like she’d be the friend everyone needs to bring a bit of sparkle into their lives. At this point in the book, I thought the house was getting a little sick of its residents, but was also equally as happy to hear them squabble regularly; I never thought I’d love the personality of a house, but here we are!
Aside from all of Edna and Edith’s shenanigans, we meet a whole host of other characters in the book. Even though these characters have their own independent funny stories to share, there are links to the main story with Edna and Edith, and the house too. I liked hearing all these humourous stories and I seemed to have a smile plastered on my face constantly throughout reading! I particularly enjoyed Harold as a character, I found him really quirky and hilarious, and I just knew there was still a great journey left to come. The book is very light and easy to read, with a pace that is consistent and flows well. Instead of having a heavily detailed plot, I felt the main purpose of the book was to entertain, and it had definitely succeeded in doing so for me!
“Things were really not going well in Edith and Edna’s search for a todger. I mean a lodger.”
Even though the story seemed unbelievable in some ways due to the nature of the book, I still found it to be realistic of northern life. Conversations between characters are sometimes very relatable and I think this is part of the reason why I laughed so much! Characters have been created really well and it was always a joy to read as we go back and forth between them. They’re so unique and memorable which is definitely something you want as you read a book. The author has also used some great description as she paints a picture of these characters and I found them really easy to visualise in my mind, The beginning of the book had me in stitches so I was really looking forward to enjoying the rest of it!
Finding a lodger was proving particularly difficult for Edna and Edith, with so many unsuitable applicants walking through the doors of number 1. As entertaining as this was, I also enjoyed reading every other side story, including Edna’s relationship with her nephew, Ricky, who she simply cannot stand. I felt as though the book was such a big collection of unpredictable events, and even though it was totally random, everything seemed to work so well. When Ricky suggests he moves into the house to protect his mother and aunt from ‘conmen’, you can imagine how Edna reacts! I wondered what the house would think to this potential new lodger and even Edith’s new fancy piece she brings home one day! There was always so much going on… how this author’s mind works is just mesmerising!
Maurice was a strange character – even though he seems to be making Edith happy, he has a history with Edna that causes a bit of a misunderstanding, all while Edna’s cat was about to keel over for good. All these shenanigans made me feel sorry that the two sisters had to live in this house together, and they definitely didn’t have the best luck in the world. They still hadn’t found the right roofer to fix their roof! The author has taken scenarios that anyone can relate to, and put such an unexpected spin on things to make them stand out and become much more memorable to a reader, which I thought was very clever indeed. I was looking forward to seeing what the pair got up to in the second half of the book!
The sisters get quite the surprise when yet another potential lodger lands on their doorstep, and this time, it’s a familiar character! Harold is back and he’s after a room, but how would Edna and Edith react? Well, Edna’s inner child tries to get him arrested and does anything she can to keep him away from the house. Even though in reality, this would be horrifying, I had to laugh due to how it’s portrayed in the book. Edna seems to be doing anything for a bit of fun! Poor Harold tries harder and harder to call the house, but Edna simply doesn’t want to know. Would she give in due to his persistence? Would she tell him outright that she didn’t want him as their lodger? It seems the right lodger is still nowhere to be seen!
“You can’t blame your farts on Henri the Third anymore, he’s dead Edna.”
I nearly did an excited squeal about the sneaky Laura Barnard reference in the book! I am also a fan of this author and recently reviewed her latest, Cock and Bull (take a look!) Authors supporting authors, I love it! The story gets even more wacky and as Edith brings Harold in as a potential lodger, Edna is as shocked as she is angry. After all her attempts to get away from the house, her sister just invites him in willingly! The humour between these two sisters never loses its charm and it always seems that they annoy each other without meaning to. Or maybe they do?! The ending of the book was drawing to a close and I have never been more stumped for how the ending of the book will play out. I was looking forward to seeing how the author did it!
Hearing about old Harold and Edna’s relationship was just dreadful, and it makes the reader understand exactly why she doesn’t want to see him! It made the fact that he is the new lodger at the house even more ludicrous and I wondered how Edna would react if she was to see him again. I doubted that she’d be able to steer clear of him for much longer though! Even with the most awful of experiences, the author not only makes it a funny read, but also delivers in a way that makes you really feel for the ‘victim’ in a situation – I was started to take a disliking to Harold even though I think he’s a very well created character. Edna begins to get more subdued which causes Edith to worry. Would she ever warm to Harold again?
Missing lodgers and mental health appointments make the ending of the book rather action packed! The pace picks up as the hunt is on for missing Georgina and we see just how panicked Edna is when the possibility of seeing Harold is high. The consistency of everything from humour to the sister’s story is so good throughout the book and I could easily see how well this series of books would work as a collection! I made a mental note to check out the others in the Curmudgeon Avenue series after this one and I’d definitely be keeping an eye out for any more work from this author in future – her style of writing has impressed me no end.
Edna and her old lover, Genevieve, plan to flee to France. Of course, the return of her loved one made her melt, and moving away from Edith and Curmudgeon Avenue was something she never expected to happen. Edith was also having her own troubles without Edna there to protect her. Could she really let Harold treat her this way without her sister there to save her and look after her? I felt the sisters really had some thinking to do before they made any life changing decisions. The end of the story was really heating up and I wondered how the pair will choose to live. Would Edna leave? Would Edith kick Harold out of the house and get a new lodger in? It would be interesting to find out before every character lost their mind!
“Ruminations of the past can often play havoc with with a persons equilibrium in the early hours.”
Edith’s birthday party started off terribly and stayed that way, especially as Edna announces her departure with Genevieve. The ending of the book is very abrupt and makes us wonder what on earth Edith’s reply to this statement was! After a little bit of research, I found the other books in the series focused on different characters in the book which sounded great. The humour and intrigue continued till the end and I found the book to really lighten my mood, especially after a hectic few days! A solid four star read that I would probably read again if I was having a tough time! The author has done a great job here and I hope she continues to write in such a wonderful, hilarious tone.
What on EARTH did I just read?! I do, of course, mean that in the most complementary way possible! I know I’ve said some books I’ve read are completely unlike anything I’ve ever read before, but this one definitely tops that list. This story has a very unusual narrator for the most part, and I had a smile on my face throughout the whole thing! Completely and utterly worth the read, and is the perfect humourous story to lift up your mood after a long week. Definitely recommend this one!
A huge thanks to the author, Samantha Henthorn , and Anne at Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and my place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Curmudgeon Avenue #1: The Terraced House Diaries on Amazon now, available on Kindle and paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.