Teenager Lizzie Vogel has a new job as a dental assistant. This is not as glamorous as it sounds. At least it means mostly getting away from her alcoholic, nymphomaniacal, novel-writing mother. But, if Lizzie thinks being independent means sex with her boyfriend (he prefers bird-watching), strict boundaries (her boss keeps using her loo) or self-respect (surely only actual athletes get fungal foot infections?) she’s still got a lot more growing up to do.
The winner of the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, Reasons to Be Cheerful is a novel that lives up to its title, confirming Nina Stibbe’s status as one of the most original and delightful writers at work today.