Review: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

7 August 2007

Mark Haddon brought us The Curious Incident of the Dog In the the Night-time, which was excellent. I don’t think that this next book quite matches it. It’s about families, and how they work, or don’t work some of the time (perhaps all of the time). It’s about what makes a family and what is important in a relationship.

George is retired and losing his mind as his body seems to be letting him down; his wife Jean is contemplating a new life with her lover; Katie, the daughter, is about to get married to Ray but isn’t sure why; and Jamie, the gay son, has split up with Tony because he doesn’t want him at the wedding. The book chronicles George’s descent into confusion as the wedding comes closer and the various characters have to confront the relationships in their lives and try to work out what is important.