Went to London, Took the Dog by Nina Stibbe
|Went to London, Took the Dog by Nina Stibbe|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Forty tyears on from the diary in letter form which made her name, we have the latest diary.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: November 2023|
|External links: Author's website|
Nina Stibbe is returning to London for a sabbatical after being away for twenty years. She's been at Victoria's smallholding in Leicestershire which isn't all that conducive to writing, as there's always something smallholding happening - as you might expect. The other side of the decision was sealed when a room became available (courtesy of Deborah Moggach) at a very reasonable rent.
I was tempted into reading Went to London... after reading Bookbag's review of Love, Nina. I knew that Nina could not be sixty as only a few moments ago, she was just twenty and fresh in London. In fairness, I'm not the only person with this view, as confirmed by Nina herself. It might be that she's ageless or that I've lost track of time. Either is completely possible. The style is very similar to the first book - irreverent, funny, unusual and prone to reminiscing about bladder issues, the various strengths of Tena pads and Charlie Bingham's fish pies. I don't think that there's any connection between the first two and the third. If you're a menopausal woman, it's fascinating stuff. If you're past that point, you quickly conclude that there are some things you'd rather forget. That doesn't apply to the Charlie Bingham fish pies, by the way.
Underneath all this frippery there's a vulnerability as Nina's at the end of a long-standing relationship and learning to live on her own (unless you count Peggy the dog - and how could you not?) for the first time. She has support from family and friends - she's the sort of person who gathers support as she moves through life - but it's still a big move to make. If you're considering making changes then you might well find the book inspirational. In places, it's also riotously funny.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to settle for a quieter, more peaceful life then you might find the stories about eating out, going to the pub, eating out, well, just a little repetitious. I'm afraid that I did. I enjoyed the book, I'm glad to have read it and I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.
If you'd like to try some of Nina's fiction, we can recommend Man at the Helm.
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