The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year


The day her twins leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For seventeen years she's wanted to yell at the world, 'Stop! I want to get off'. Finally, this is her chance.

Her husband Brian, an astronomer having an unsatisfactory affair, is upset. Who will cook his dinner? Eva, he complains, is attention seeking. But word of Eva's defiance spreads.

Legions of fans, believing she is protesting, gather in the street. While Alexander the white van man brings tea, toast and sympathy. And from this odd but comforting place Eva begins to see both herself and the world very, very differently. . .

Our Review

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year is the first book I read by Sue Townsend and I mostly loved it

Eva has spent the last few years looking after her annoying twins Brianne and Brian junior and doing everything for her husband Brian who she is pretty sure she doesn’t love. On the day her twins leave for university Eva decides to go to bed and not to leave it again for an entire year.

She always wears black clothes and never lets anyone see her without her red lipstick. She hides the receipt for it because she knows Brian would complain about the price. Eva spends hours making the house tidy and making meals for her family so when the twins have left she feels a sense of relief that she has the house too herself at last.

The final straw that tips her over the edge is when she sees the chair that she spent hours embroidering beautifully has soup on it which someone has spilt and not bothered to clean off. She picked up the saucepan, walked from the kitchen into the sitting room and threw soup all over her precious chair. She then went upstairs, into her bedroom and, without removing her clothes or her shoes, got into bed and stayed there for a year.

She didn’t know it would be a year. She climbed into bed thinking she would leave it again after half an hour, but the comfort of the bed was exquisite, the white sheets were fresh and smelled of snow.

This book made me laugh several times, particularly the bits to do with Brian. Eva’s husband Brian is bemused when he comes in from work to find his domestic bliss has ended. Brian hovered at the end of the bed. There was nobody to tell him what to do.

Eva tells Brian she is pleased to see the back of the twins because they have done a terrible job of raising them. Throughout the book the twins were obnoxious, annoying and just the worse examples of human beings.

Eva’s list of things she would not be doing anymore.

“Today she would not be doing any of these things. She would not be worrying that her clothes were uncoordinated, because she could not see a time when she would be wearing clothes again. She would only be wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown for the foreseeable future.

She would rely on other people to feed her, wash her, and buy her food. She didn’t know who those people were but she believed that most people were longing to demonstrate their innate goodness.”

As much as I enjoyed this book I did become annoyed with Eva about two thirds of the way through the book as I felt that the whole thing was getting a bit selfish and ridiculous.

It was a so-so book. It was funny but also pretty forgettable. 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3/5

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