The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend****

16 March 2020 | ,

Reading dates: 07 March-15 March 2020

I was in two minds about my rating for this book. I wanted to give three stars, because of the plot, and the ending (it just stops, although that is somewhat appropriate to a diary), overanalysing it as an object. But Adrian Mole is all about the experience. I read it during the dark days of Covid-19’s incipient self-isolation, during the last preparations of Rosina’s yoga celebration weekend and the weekend itself, during one of the most uncertain times I have ever lived. And it made me laugh. Quite a lot in fact. I would wake Neil up chuckling at something both well observed and perfectly articulated. Its lightness was infectious, lifting the heavy weight I was carrying, even if momentarily. I love diaries and epistolary novels. Neil told me that something that makes you laugh is worth a lot, and he is right. It seems simple but humour is in fact harder than a clever plot, than well-crafted paragraphs. Humour is both form and content and Adrian Mole’s secret diary is as delightful and healing as books can be.


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