My huge thanks to Mikka at Everything With Words for sending me a copy of This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny by Laura Clark in return for an honest review and for waiting so patiently as I became inundated with requests for blog space. I’m delighted finally to share my review today.
Published on 22nd September 2022 by Everything With Words, This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny is available for purchase here.
This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny
Dr Molly Beaujolais (Lecturer in Performing Arts and Applied Theatre) and Jonathan Nylon (Lecturer in History) both keep diaries and have offices next door to each other. Two unlikely lovers, particularly since much of Molly’s time is taken up internet dating while Jonathan Nylon obsesses about his presentation of the battle of Narvik, his course on medieval disease and punishment and his impossible lodger, but life likes to play around with the impossible. Wickedly funny, clever and daring. And touching because it’s all about being human in a very lonely world.
My Review of This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny
Molly and Jonny are looking for love.
It’s a long time since I’ve laughed aloud so frequently reading a book but This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny made me snort with laughter time and again. It’s quirky, witty and steeped in both convention and, ironically, pretention (as in Molly’s ongoing conversations about Nathaniel) in a unique, intelligent and vibrant manner that makes it such fun to read. I confess that not every allusion was within my frame of reference, but that only added to my enjoyment and to the academic setting for the story. I looked up some elements and had memories sparked by others.
In many ways the characters in This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny reminded me of a modern day cast of Commedia dell’Arte with their quirks and roles in highlighting Molly and Jonny, especially as student theatrical performance is one of the themes of the narrative. I thought the role of Beacon lighting the way to true love for Molly (that she initially misses) was inspired and I have no idea if I’m reading more into my interpretation than was intended, but Vincent’s narcissistic photographic behaviour made me think of Vincent Van Gogh’s self portraits. Honestly, This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny might be more a novella in length, but I think it could be read and re-read many many times and even more interpretations and allusions could be found and enjoyed. It’s a rich tapestry of life past and present that offers so much more than just a diverting narrative.
Set against this fascinating background the two central characters of Molly and Jonny are brilliantly prosaic, concerned with all the things we all worry about. Have we said and done the right things? Have we made fools of ourselves? Will we find true love? Their lives swirl around one another in an entertaining and believable courtship dance that never quite synchronises so that the reader begins to despair that they will ever truly be happy. What Laura Clark does so brilliantly is to explore the human condition, and the need we all have for connection and intimacy in a world gone mad with political intrigue and global concerns. Molly and Jonny are the very microcosm of humanity. Whilst This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny is set just before Covid, it is just as relevant now and has a universality that will endure.
I thought This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny was a super read and I devoured it in one sitting because I found it so engaging. Maybe, in the spirit of Molly and Jonny I should sum up my review in a diary entry of my own:
21st October Linda Hill- Read This Diary (World) Belongs to Molly and Jonny. Laughed frequently. Fell in love with Molly and Jonny. Loved spotting cultural, historical, geographical and literary allusions. Shed a small tear at the human need for intimacy and connection so brilliantly displayed. Thoroughly enjoyed the book!
About Laura Clark
Laura Clark grew up in Gloucestershire and studied music at the University of Birmingham. Highlights of her musical career include singing at St Peter’s Basilica and getting a fork for Gareth Malone’s couscous, before he was really famous. She has written for: Musical Opinion, San Francisco Classical Voice, New Humanist, BBC Music Magazine’s news feed, Jazz Journal, Warships International Fleet Review, Drama and Theatre, CBeebies magazine, The Wotton Times, Good on Paper and others. Her children’s story book A Conker for a Pearl was made into a stop-motion animation by Sasha Langford and screened at InMotion Festival in Aberdeen.
For more information, follow Laura on Instagram.