The Woman Who Died A Lot (Thursday Next 7) by Jasper FForde (book review).

Thursday’s back and just as well. ‘The Woman Who Died A Lot’ sees the return of the heroine from many previous Jasper Fforde adventures.

Thursday Next, a Jurisfiction Agent (semi-retired), has enough problems without work on top of it. Her last encounter in ‘One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing’ left her in a bad way. No spoilers here as I insist you read all of Thursday’s previous outings.

She is wife to a lovely man called Landen, which is lucky because people in these novels have a habit of being unmade. She is mother to Friday (obviously). He was a time agent until the Chronoguard was cancelled before he got to be a time agent. Keep up, people. Her daughter, Jenny, won’t come out of the bedroom and there is something else at the edge of her consciousness, just a little nagging doubt that all is well. The dodo doesn’t help much neither.

Oh, and the world is currently experiencing a series of smitings, something about an angry deity having his existence denied. There’s a lot to take on board here and it’s probably not wise just to jump in without a lifebelt.

Jasper Fforde’s books grow on you and, if you accept their own peculiar reality, then you will love them. If you don’t, then you might possibly be my husband, living in another timeline.

With a bizarre cast of characters, it’s hard to explain the plot. Thursday’s voice still comes strongly through the text and she has an awful lot of explaining to do as the action careers around the hotspots of Swindon.

What I missed about this was Thursday in Bookworld, which took up many of her previous adventures. Now there is more going on but I miss the cheeky re-writes of classic novels and the intervention by literary characters. You might say I’m living in the past or I might just be living in another world.

Either way this is still a fun book with some clever twists which you will enjoy.

Sue Davies

(pub: Hodder & Stoughton. 400 page hardback. Price: £16.99. ISBN: 978-034096-311-1)
heck out website: www.hodder.co.uk

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