Welcome! Log in or Register

Constitutional - Helen Simpson

  • image
£2.99 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
1 Review

Genre: Fiction / Author: Helen Simpson / Paperback / 128 Pages / Book is published 2006-10-05 by Vintage

  • Sort by:

    * Prices may differ from that shown

  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    1 Review
    Sort by:
    • More +
      30.03.2010 01:35
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      Stories about women and men facing a turning point in their lives

      Constitutional, Helen Simpson's 4th short story collection, is a slim volume (133 pages) containing 9 stories about midlife crisis.
      These stories are about women and men in their late 30s/early 40s facing a turning point in their lives - affairs, relationship breakdown, teenage children growing up, serious illness and pregnancy/impending single parenthood. I found them witty and sad at the same time.

      These are not stories based on a tight little plot and a neat twist, and readers seeking those should look elsewhere; they offer a glimpse into the people's lives at a particular point. In fact, the story with the most obvious plotting, If I'm Spared, was my least favourite as the main character was so unlikeable.

      In The Year's Midnight, Marion can't resist intervening to try and cheer up an upset child and finds herself advising a Czech au pair girl who hates her job. I enjoyed this story but the ones I liked best were those containing bits I could really relate to.

      In Early One Morning, Zoe worries about her 9 year old son growing up and away from her, I can imagine feeling like this in a few years' time. In Every Third Thought, a woman is freaked out to find that so many people around her are dying - other mums of kids at her children's school, people of her age, people like her. In The Phlebotomist's Love Life, a woman is distraught about the Iraq war and is distressed to find out that the man she has a relationship with doesn't want to talk about it, probably because he has a completely different view. And in the title story, a woman finds herself pregnant in her 40s, a wanted baby but not the right circumstances.

      Simpson's stories are written in simple prose. They are very witty in looking at the way people think, the mixture of logic and irrationality.
      I have read her earlier stories before, but reading this (twice in a few months) has made me want to go back to them.

      Constitutional is published by Vintage with a cover price of £7.99, and is currently available from Amazon at £5.23.


      Login or register to add comments

    Products you might be interested in