Wednesday, 16 December 2009
We Are All Made of Glue by Marina Lewycka
Our heroine, Georgie Sinclair, is a freelancer on Adhesives in the Modern World. But the glue thing is more about how we, like, bond.
Pronounced Levitzka; she wrote A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian (a surprise hit) and Two Caravans (less so). Her million-selling books are hilarious, but about deeply serious subjects. In this case, that includes Israel and Palestine.
This is a stick-’em-up?
Of human bondage. Georgie, daughter of a gritty North of England Commie (“If they ‘adn’t shut all t’pits, they wouldn’t be so mad for oil now, would they?”) has split up with her nerdy husband, and needs human contact.
She finds a new man?
She finds an old woman. Mrs Shapiro lives in a spooky mansion with seven cats. “When you see a good man you just grebbit quick,” she advises Georgie.
But Mrs S falls on the ice and a social worker plots with an estate agent to sell the mansion and grab a profit.
She’s sending desperate messages from the ‘care home’ - but Georgie has fallen into the Velcro-handcuff clutches of devilish Mark Diabello, the estate agent.
A demon lover?
Things start to go suspiciously wrong in the absent Mrs Shapiro’s house, and Georgia calls in Mr Ali the handyman. “Jews live here?” he asks, looking at the mezuzah on the door.
You’re giving it all away!
Not. There’s much more - brilliant, funny, and you’ll learn about Israel and Palestine, the Holocaust, the Danish Jews who were saved -
And the pusscats?
Lewycka writes great animals. The rapist Wonder Boy, delicate Violetta, The Stinker and the other cats are as real as the Palestinians, the surprise Israeli, the Jesus-freak son, angry husband and the rest.
But is it good?
Better than good. Get the flu just so you can stay home, tucked under a duvet with a warm fire and a mug of spicy chicken soup and gobble up this book.