I so, so, so wanted to go and see the ‘Tamara Drewe’ film when it came out earlier this year, however sadly for lots of reasons I never got around to it. Mind you I now think that this was fate because I do really like to read the book before I go and see the film version, hence why I have still not gotten around to seeing ‘Revolutionary Road’ which I must read next year. ‘Tamara Drewe’ was a book that I definitely wanted to read because being a graphic novel, a genre I am getting to know slowly but surely, it seemed like it could be something quite different. I saw it in the library earlier this week, snapped it up and then read it in one go!
I had seen snippets of ‘Tamara Drewe’ by Posy Simmonds when it was serialised in The Guardian whenever I was at my Mum’s or my Gran’s on a random Saturday visit. I can’t say that it was something I particularly looked out for because I would catch it rarely and I do like to read things in order. However it came out as a graphic novel back in 2007, yet it wasn’t until seeing the film adverts on the telly that I really gained awareness of it, but I am so glad that I have finally picked it up and read it.
Stonefield is a writers retreat in the fictional town of Ewedown deep in the English countryside. The owners Beth and her writer husband Nicholas Hardiman who are currently in their latest brawl over one of his affairs and the writers, including Glen Larson, and the gardener Andy are having a garden break when a girl in a mere vest and hot pants appears. This siren is Tamara Drewe, a woman who lived in Ewedown but left to follow a career in journalism and also to get a nose job, a column on which has made her career so far. She is back and wittingly or unwittingly (as the reader can decide as they go) she causes chaos and changes the lives of some of the villagers for good, especially as it appears she has some history with several of the people at Stonefield.
Posy Simmonds is not only a wonderful, and I mean really wonderful, artist she is a brilliant storyteller who can be both incredibly funny and also rather emotional. As Tamara causes chaos in almost all her relationships with others you could be taken on a farcical tale of middle class England and its bed hopping and gossip. What you get is a little bit of that laced with both a morality and slight melodrama that makes you believe in all the characters and their situations and puts you in the heads of them all and their motives whether they are good bad or indifferent. I wasn’t expecting too much out of this book actually, I thought it was going to be rather a throwaway romp through the fields, haystacks and bedrooms of some rather comic and cad like characters. I was proved wrong and was most pleasantly surprised. 8.5/10
Its been a good year for me with graphic novels, I would say I have loved every single one but both this and the incredible ‘Blankets’ have shown me I need to read much more of this genre, any suggestions for 2011 please?
P.S I am sorry this post is so late, wordpress seems to be playing about with my scheduled posts… grrr! I’m also not sure what is going on with my fonts!