Dawn French’s Oh dear Silvia takes place in a hospital room where Silvia (of the title) lays in a comma & visited by a number of family members, friends & hospital staff. The memories of each visitor helps set the story and as you read you will find out who Silvia really is. The first chapter is told by Ed, the ex-husband, with following chapters jumping from Ed to Winnie, the hospital nurse, to Tia, the housekeeper, to Cat, Silvia’s current partner, to Jo, the sister & to Cassandra, the daughter. Each character spills out their hearts to Silvia while she lays their unresponsive. The character development is spot on & the plot is well constructed to expose pieces of information at critical times to create good flow.
French’s irreverent style of humour is apparent as she takes a serious situation and adds comedic value. It’s a talent of hers that shines through in her writing! Her characters are all unique and their individual relationships with Silvia will help to keep you interested in the overall story. I did feel slightly disappointed with the ending as I was hoping for a clearer explanation of why Silvia was in the comma and also some resolution for the characters would have been nice. However, a great read which will stir up your emotions.