The Man Who Forgot His Wife

Frankly, I am ashamed of myself. Having told you all that I would be improving this blog and making the posts a lot more frequently, I haven’t posted for two months. I didn’t even post on this blog’s one year anniversary! Shameful. Anyone would think I have been finishing my third year at university, learning the songs and lines for a main part in a show and trying to manage two jobs. However, enough about me and how little I’ve been up to! This blog will be on The Man Who Forgot His Wife (anagrams are supposed to make things easier and quicker but TMWFHW doesn’t seem to be fulfilling that function does it?) by John O’Farrell. Now, John O’Farrell is one of my favourite authors already because he wrote a completely FANTASTIC book about the history of Britain, but he’s also done it again by enchanting me with this brilliant book. For anyone who likes a good giggle and doesn’t want a classic romantic-comedy, this is the book for you.

The blurb reads:  Lots of husbands forget things: they forget that their wife had an important meeting that morning; they forget to pick up the dry cleaning; some of them even forget their wedding anniversary. But Vaughan has forgotten he even has a wife. Her name, her face, their history together, everything she has ever told him, everything he has said to her – it has all gone, mysteriously wiped in one catastrophic moment of memory loss. And now he has rediscovered her – only to find out that they are getting divorced.

Ooh, seems interesting right? What I need to say about this book first is that it is so funny! The witty, clever side of John O’Farrell’s writing is so prominent in this book and, for quite a serious plot topic, there are so many laugh-out-loud bits throughout the amazing story. Must read for those who love clever, dry wit in a book.

TMWFHW gets 4/5 for how put-down-able it was. The story is not just focused on Vaughn’s struggle to regain memory of his marriage, but also on him regaining any of his memory at all. The plot changes quickly and excitingly, leaving the ready waiting anxiously for the next twist and turn, hoping it will end well for Vaughn (which it does… most of the time). I got to 90% of the way through on this book- I was forced to read it on Kindle as I was on holiday- and the story STILL managed to flip in a completely different direction in the last 10%. The only reason this book didn’t get 5/5 on this section of rating is because I had to keep putting it down to contemplate how truly confusing it would be if I forgot everything and everyone in my life. Vaughn starts a wiki page to try and get collected info on himself but I don’t know… would you want anyone being able to log in and change aspects of your life without you knowing any differently?

This book gets 4/5 for characters. Vaughn is a mixed blessing for a reader. We meet him when he is already post-memory loss and is so lovely that it’s hard to image why his wife would be divorcing him… but the more we find out the harder it is to feel QUITE so sorry for him. In fact, towards the end I was erring towards the viewpoint that if he had been my husband, I would have happily been the one to cause him the memory loss with a great kick to the head. But that’s besides the point.

I give this book 5/5 for originality. Obviously, it’s not the first book to be written about memory loss and the effects it has on one’s life, but it is the first that I’ve read which doesn’t have a Bourne type of style and ends in death (spoiler alert). The story focuses mainly on Vaughn trying to win back his wife, but also on his own sense of self-discovery. He realises he was not the man he would have wanted to be, and goes out of his way with his new fresh start to amend that. I think everyone would like that chance sometimes… especially after a night out when you can’t remember much of what you did or said.

Overall, I give The Man Who Forgot His Wife 4/5. I love O’Farrell’s style (did I mention that this book is hilarious the entire way through?) and it’s a great new take on a clever plot idea. I would highly recommend this book to people who love a witty, clever read, but also a little bit of soft romance.

Thank you for staying with me and reading my blog! The next book review will be on the Confessions of  Shopaholic series (there’s about ten books that I’ll be trying to review all at once… help!). Remember to like this  blog and leave any comments if you want to.

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