This 1960s set novel about a girl from the North making it big in London brings to mind the recent TV series, ‘Cilla’ I could imagine Sheridan Smith making a fine job of playing Barbara Parker/Sophie Straw as she did Priscilla White/Cilla Black in a future film or TV version of the book.
Nick Hornby does a fabulous job of bringing to life the world of sixties sitcom and the personalities and lives of the actors and writers that created such popular shows. The book even looks cool and groovy (I loved the additions of black and white photos of real people throughout the book that root the fictional characters firmly in this particular space and time)
As well as Sophie, my other favourite character was the shy, self-effacing director; Dennis who gradually moves from the periphery of the story to centre stage. The scene where Sophie invites him to the opening night of ‘Hair’ is wonderful and you really feel for Dennis’s gaucheness when everyone else is letting it all hang out, so to speak!
This is a joyous, life-affirming read of a world before political correctness and of rapid cultural and social change. Tune in, drop out and relax with this lovely book!