Tuesday 12 August 2014

Review ~ A Little Bit of Madness by Sheryl Browne.

Title: A Little Bit of Madness.
Author: Sheryl Browne.
Publisher: Safkhet.
Genre: Romantic Comedy.
Release Date: January 2, 2013.
Source: Bought.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

No rest for the wicked
Saving Charlton Hall will burrow into your heart.

Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, is too cuddly for sweatpants, she suspects. But then, her class at The Harbour Rest Home are similarly clad. Celia loves her work as an art therapist. She's proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to, even if her partner, Martin, disapproves of her efforts. He also has other things on his mind - telling complicated lies to Celia so he can sell Charlton Hall, his mum's house, to pay off his debts.

Meanwhile, Celia fights to secure gallery space for her geriatric charges' artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed. She's even ready to abseil from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her old people, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the flagstones. When she does fall, however, it's much more painful - in love with PC Alex Burrows. Will he be her white knight in blue and ride to her rescue?

A Little Bit of Madness looked like a whole bundle of fun and it definitely did not disappoint. I found this a little slow to get into but once I did, a heap of brilliant characters struck me and I just didn’t want to put this book down. It was my own fault for spending too much time getting irritated with Martin but as soon as lovely Alex was on the scene, my attention was predictably grabbed and I continued to find character after character to love, from the *slightly* eccentric May and Eleanor to Celia’s sons Luke and Ben.

It would be safe to say this novel is completely mad. From abseiling off a church steeple to a cast of protesting and plotting elderly people, it was never not crazy. And it was pretty hilarious too. Just when I thought Alex was going to completely steal my heart, I got drawn to the fight for The Harbour Rest Home to survive, and not get closed down. Sheryl injects brilliant humour into this novel which still allows you to warm to all the wonderful characters and there were plenty of them to entertain here.

So in most books I read, rather than the elderly being brought to the forefront, they’re built up as weak and sometimes incapable. A Little Bit of Madness was refreshingly, the complete opposite. Nothing was going to hold Eleanor, May, Colonel and the likes back. They were fighters and full of life and high spirit. In fact, they’d probably be the perfect people to have in your corner since they were quite good at scaring people off too. I adored all of these characters. Eleanor was probably my favourite since you could tell from the start, there was a lot to learn about her. As for May, she was charmingly mad. I would say I believe it’s impossible you could read this book without connecting to at least one of these characters.

I absolutely loved the romance in this book too because none of it was overdone or hard to believe. I’m not a love triangle fan (fictional or otherwise) at all but this wasn’t the typical love triangle. Seeing feelings progress and events develop in A Little Bit of Madness made for a great read – Sheryl’s writing really stood out here because even though I was sure I knew how I wanted things to work out, she kept me changing my mind and as for the ending… I think A Little Bit of Madness might have stolen a bit of my heart.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. Awww, Sophie! Another lovely review, thank you so much. I love this: "A Little Bit of Madness might have stolen a bit of my heart." Precisely what I wanted to convey is that older people are people, with lives left to live and something to give. I think you got it! :) I'm just about to submit a stage play written around this book to theatre. Wish me luck!!! THANK you, sweetie. :) xx

    1. You're very welcome, and good luck! Sounds great :) xx

  2. They definitely are! Thanks, Stephanie :)


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