Three Cheers for Paul Magrs.

Sometimes a book comes along that sticks with you – and a dinner party conversation had me
blushing that I’d read and enjoyed this book but never reviewed it as a vote of
‘thanks’ on Amazon. ‘Never the Bride’ by
Paul Magrs is one of those books – light , witty, dark, wildly imaginative but
totally plausible and full of surreal characters that are strangely…real.

Take Brenda and Effie – two elderly women living in Whitby –
well I’m not going to give the game away but any book with the a character
called Stella Manchu gets five stars from me even before the off. Add to that
the loathsome Mrs Christmas in her motorised wheelchair, Effie’s odd ancestry
and the fact that Brenda is at least two hundred years old and a holiday by the
sea may never be the same again.

The whole point of an improbable story is its plausibility
and that’s the skill of a master story-teller, creating clearly drawn
characters that have a distinct voice lifting them beyond the stereotype of two
potty old women and into a world where they just might actually exist. True
some of the situations get a little side tracked by a couple of sub-stories but
to be honest I was too hooked to care.

And if ‘Never the Bride’ wasn’t riches enough Paul Magrs has
also given us ‘Something Borrowed’ and ‘Conjugal Rites’. None of them will
change your life, unless you rank reading with a smile on your face a
life-changing experience – well maybe we all should?

© Ian Ashley 2014