This review might be a little late for Mother’s Day no matter if you’re in the UK or USA/Canada but that’s entirely appropriate given the title. Also appropriate since my children gave me it for Mother’s Day but forgot they had it so gave me it a few days late! They did actually get me other gifts so they hadn’t forgotten entirely.
This Famous Five for grown-ups series continues to amuse me. Like many people, I loved The Famous Five books when I was young and it’s fun to read about the adults they might have turned into. In this book, the cousins are trying to find the perfect gift for Aunt Fanny to show her how much they appreciate her. George has managed to forget to buy gifts for her mother on several important occasions and is determined that this time she will remember.
This exchange between Anne and George made me laugh as they discuss Aunt Fanny’s parenting skills. It is exactly what you didn’t notice when reading The Famous Five as a child but do notice when reading to your own children!
Anne: “All those summers down there in Kirren, when she used to look after us. . .”
George: “But she left us alone the whole time, and just let us bugger off all over the place – getting into all sorts of trouble in the process.”
What I really enjoy about these stories is that Bruno Vincent has captured the essence of the original books while bringing them right up to date. I really can imagine that the Five would have turned out exactly as they are portrayed in the modern versions, with the different kinds of adventures and challenges that adults experience. Some of the chapter titles are enough to make me laugh in themselves: ‘Five Mess Up a Perfectly Easy Task’ or ‘Five Bugger Something Up Again, Despite it Appearing Objectively Quite Achievable’.
The original illustrations, along with quotations from the new story, are used to great comedic effect and add that bit something extra to the book. I am really enjoying catching up with the Famous Five. Now what one to choose next – Five Go Parenting (will they have the same lackadaisical approach as their own parents?) or Five Give Up the Booze (what, they drink something stronger than ginger beer?!)
Thanks to my children for my copy of the book! Five Forget Mother’s Day is available in hardback and as an e-book and was published by Quercus on 23 February 2017. It is available in all good bookshops or you can order a copy online here.
From the back of the book
Enid Blyton’s books are beloved the world over and The Famous Five have been the perennial favourite of her fans. Now, in this new series of Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy are keen to show Aunt Fanny how much she means to them.
Join Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog as they try to celebrate Mother’s Day with Aunt Fanny. George has past form in forgetting – not least her mum’s birthday and Christmas presents – so tensions are running high even for the charged normality of their mother/daughter bond.
But things go from bad to worse when Fanny comes to stay, with relations strained almost to breaking point. Can the Five save the day, and will Uncle Quentin get involved?