With all the excitement of pre-Christmas family visiting I've overlooked writing about two of Jonathan Hill's 'Maureen' stories that I read a while ago.
If you already know her you'll love this latest story from Jonathan Hill about his hapless creation, Maureen.
In this special Christmas offering Maureen is at her social climbing, sherry slurping, self-deluded best. Although you know where this story is going before Maureen gets there you're thinking "No! Stop! It won't work Maureen" but she goes to the limit with the inevitable consequences.
If you haven't met Maureen before I'm sure you'll enjoy this short story and want to read the other books too.
In Maureen the author has created a wonderful character who at times amazes with the extent of her crassness but occasionally is poignantly sensitive and insightful. Beautifully written with clarity and precision, Jonathan Hill once again demonstrates that he is the master of small details - a talented writer of short stories.
In addition you get two Maureen drabbles - a form of writing at which the author excels - and an additional story from an earlier period in Maureen's life. All in all an entertaining and lively read for Christmas or any time of the year and excellent value for money.
Having encountered Maureen several times now I'm beginning to feel I know her quite well. I follow her on Twitter @MaureenEbooks and enjoy her barbed comments and so was looking forward to reading another Maureen novella from Jonathan Hill.
The context for this book is Maureen attempting to get over her bereavement after the sad demise of husband Roy. Maureen has planned a trip to Blackpool as part of her re-habilitation and the contrast between the destination here and on her other trip in Maureen Goes to Venice couldn't be greater.
I love Blackpool and greatly enjoyed how it's described in Maureen and The Big One: you can smell it as well as see it. Jonathan Hill has a a very good eye for detail and uses this to great effect as he establishes the setting and develops his characters. I particularly enjoyed Ada the B&B owner and her "husband", Trevor the taxi-driver and Stella the clairvoyant.
You learn more about Maureen's background in this book which goes some way to explaining her personality and her less endearing traits and this gives the book more depth than the earlier ones. Once again Jonathan Hill has produced a well written and entertaining story which I enjoyed reading and highly recommend.