My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - Over 2 days
Publisher - Penguin
Pages - 342
Source - The Works
Blurb from Goodreads
Who is in Coma Suite Number 5?
A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife?
All of these. For this is Silvia Shute who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops.
Her past holds a dark and terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. And she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers.
Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again . . .
Sylvia is in a coma, Sylvia is loathed by members of her family, worshiped by her friend Cat. Shunned by her daughter Cassie and son Jamie, cared for by nurse Winnie, visited by Tia her cleaner, Ed her ex husband and her eccentric sister Jo. Each brings their own issues and slowly reveals Sylvia's past, their issues and relationships with her bringing the reader into the know of just who Sylvia is.
Some of the characters are hilarious, Tia is her cleaning, proud and very funny in some of her chat and outlook on matters. Cat is a complex character who happily would have Sylvia just to herself and not her family. Ed has much mixed feelings for his ex wife, the things she has done and looking back on their relationship before she changed. Cassie struggles to even look at her mother despite the critical condition she is in, Jamie refuses to acknowledge her and Jo, Jo is a wild card, chaos, dramas and very much all about her as she tries some very questionable things to "wake" her sister up.
The book is a mix of humour, sadness, tough issues, abuse, possessiveness, relationships, violence, suicidal intentions. It is also about relationships and family, huge focus on both, with Sylvia being in a coma, all the characters address all their issues with her in a very honest and raw emotive way. This is my first book by French, it won't be my last 3.5/5 for me, a very mixed bag and whilst there are a fair few characters, each chapter is titled with their name so it is very easy to follow.