Almost English is the story of two women, living under the shadow of their loud, eccentric and overbearing elderly Hungarian relatives. Marina, is 16 years old and has escaped to a prestigious boarding school – only discovering it is not the adventure she’d hoped for and she doesn’t fit in. Laura, her mother, on the other hand is at the mercy of her Hungarian in-laws, having been abandoned by her husband and forced to move in with his mother and elderly sisters. She is bored of her life beyond belief, desperately missing her daughter but unable to tell her and engaged in an affair with her boss, merely so she can feel something.
Miserable and lonely, Marina starts dating Guy, the son of a celebrity historian. Invited into a world in which she doesn’t belong, Marina becomes almost obsessed by the family… meanwhile, Laura gets involved with a figure from her past. And all along, the Hungarians provide a loud and lively backdrop to the story.
It took me a while to get into this book, it was a bit of a slow starter, but it definitely grew on me and had me in stitches at times. There are some really interesting and lively characters and some passages had me cringing but laughing at the same time. Mendleson’s character descriptions are spot on and intriguing, but I did feel a bit perplexed by the backdrop of the Hungarian relatives… they have a lot to say, but do very little in terms of moving the plot along. That said, this was an entertaining and different read – not perfect, but enjoyable.
Once again, no time for cooking this week! I am letting myself down… but in my defence, it was my birthday this weekend! Also, I am running about a week late with this challenge… amends will be made no worries about that! See you next week!!