As life is rather busy, I’ve been turning down about 90% of the blog tours I’ve been asked to participate in over the last few months, but I’m so glad I agreed to take part in this one organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for Mavis and Dot by Angela Petch, not least because all profits from sales of the book will go towards research into a cure for cancer and with my sister-in-law currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer this feels like a personal post. I have my review to share with you today.
Mavis and Dot
A warm slice of life, funny, feel-good, yet poignant.
Introducing two eccentric ladies who form an unlikely friendship. Meet Mavis and Dot – two colourful, retired ladies who live in Worthington-on-Sea, where there are charity shops galore. Apart from bargain hunting, they manage to tangle themselves in escapades involving illegal immigrants, night clubs, nude modelling, errant toupees and more. And then there’s Mal, the lovable dog who nobody else wants.
A gently humorous, often side-splitting, heart-warming snapshot of two memorable characters with past secrets and passions.
Escape for a couple of hours into this snapshot of a faded, British seaside town. You’ll laugh and cry but probably laugh more. “This book is quirky and individual, and has great pathos…[it] will resonate with a lot of readers.” Gill Kaye – Editor of Ingenu(e).
Written with a light touch in memory of a dear friend who passed away from ovarian cancer, Angela Petch’s seaside tale is a departure from her successful Tuscan novels.
All profits from the sale of the books will go towards research into the cure for cancer.
My Review of Mavis and Dot
A chance meeting at a bridge club will lead to friendship for Mavis and Dot.
Mavis and Dot is a delightful book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I’m always cynically sceptical of claims about books in their advertising and when I saw ‘A warm slice of life, funny, feel-good, yet poignant’ I wasn’t quite prepared for how accurate a description this is. It sums up Mavis and Dot perfectly.
There’s fast paced action and so much packed into Mavis and Dot that I’d defy any reader not to be able to find an aspect that resonates with them. I particularly liked the concept that a larger sized, older woman like Mavis could still enjoy a sexual relationship. I was also very touched by the details of Dot’s past as they are gradually uncovered. There’s the potential for many more adventures for Mavis and Dot and I’d love to read them.
Both the main characters are very well developed so that they feel like real and vibrant women, warts and all. Neither is perfect and their flaws add to the realism and pleasure in the book. It’s so refreshing to read about a developing friendship between older protagonists as I feel they are underrepresented in fiction. Mavis’s outrageous outfits and Dot’s haphazard approach to housework and cooking give a brilliant message that we don’t have to be confined by convention.
I loved the balance of humour and pathos in the storytelling because the realities of life are so well balanced by quirkier and entertaining aspects. Mavis’s malapropisms had me chuckling and her early encounters with Lance were a real hoot. I don’t often laugh aloud when reading so-called humorous books but I certainly did here. That said, Angela Petch is not afraid to tackle big social issues head on so that there’s actually quite a bit to think about at the same time as being royally entertained.
Mavis and Dot is a warm-hearted exploration of life and friendship that I found beguiling and engaging. It’s a super read.
About Angela Petch
A prize-winning author, Angela Petch lives half the year in West Sussex and the summer months in a remote valley in the Tuscan Apennines. She recently signed a two-book deal with Bookouture for her Tuscan novels and Mavis and Dot is a temporary departure from her usual genre. She has travelled all her life: born in Germany, she spent six years as a child living in Rome, worked in Amsterdam after finishing her degree in Italian, moved to Italy for her job, then to Tanzania for three years. Her head is full of stories and she always carries a pen and note-book to capture more ideas.
In May 2017, Angela Petch won PRIMA’S monthly short story competition and recently had a dozen stories published by The People’s Friend magazine.
Mavis and Dot was written in memory of a dear friend who lost her battle with ovarian cancer. All profits from sales of the book will go towards research into a cure for cancer.