Book Review: A Little Bit of Madness
by Sheryl Browne
Published Feb 2012
My Rating 4 out of 5 stars
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?
Note: I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My Review: Celia is a nice person. She's an excellent mom, an advocate for seniors, and a person who sticks up for what she believes in. She's so nice, in fact, that she's able to tolerate the intolerable Martin--her boyfriend and the father of her youngest child. From the beginning, I sensed an insincerity about Martin and couldn't wait for Celia (or, Silly at Martin calls her) to send him packing. In steps Alex, a police officer with a troubled past. It's because of Celia's kindness and compassion that she is able to befriend Alex despite his best efforts to push her away.
There's more than just a little bit of madness in this story! Between her children (Luke and Ben), Martin's mother (Rosemary), and Celia's job as an art instructor at a Senior home, Celia's life is filled to the brim with madness. Celia is passionate about the older people she has befriended and tries to convince her community that this eccentric bunch has much to contribute to the world--a view Martin does not share. The seniors--Eleanor, May, and the Colonel--kept me laughing and shaking my head through the entire book. The exchanges between the three were fast-paced and hilarious. Eleanor and the Colonel are multidimensional characters that surprised me, most particularly Eleanor. Just when I thought I knew her secrets, everything changed. Let's just say there are some real surprises in this book, and they're revealed one at a time to keep you guessing.