Amazon Synopsis :
Snap, Cackle and Pop introduces us to Cathy, a 54-year-old woman who has everything her heart desires. A big house, a new car and a husband who adores her. But what does Cathy do when the life she knows and loves is destroyed in eight minutes? Thrown into turmoil, Cathy has no choice but to go back home to live with her elderly parents, Stan and Joan. There she finds herself back in her old bedroom with the poster of Donny Osmond still tacked to the wall and a glitter ball still hanging from the ceiling. Warm, funny and compelling, Snap, Cackle and Pop is about surviving whatever life throws at you. Even when your own mother’s advice is “Cheer up Cathy. The worst is yet to come”….
Review : Breakups and divorces are messy things. And when your spouse of 38 years leaves you, you have every right to officially go bonkers. So does Cathy, a 54-year old woman, through whose eyes we see this story unfold.
When I started the first chapter, I had forgotten what exactly the book’s blurb said. After I finished it though, I felt it had some decent humour in there. I had no idea.
Cathy has to leave her home and return to her parents’ house. She is old, overweight, has a drinking problem, and just doesn’t know what to do with her life now that Tom, her Tom, has left her. She meets her childhood friend Jane and her 27 year-old daughter Louise. If the prospect of a woman coming back to live with her parents at that age isn’t odd enough, consider that her brother Steven, who is single till date, is in jail for petty crimes.
“His solicitor told him he’d get three years, but the judge knows him so he only got eighteen months.” Mum smiles with pride. “It’s good to know people in high places.”
Her parents keep bickering with each other, never passing up a single chance to pull each other’s legs. Cathy, her parents and Jane make a wild bunch. Every single moment has something funny about it. As her parents and her best friend try to help Cathy come to terms with the breakdown of her marriage and make her stand strong again, awkward moments crop up. By the dozen. Jane takes her to a blind date scene. Here’s a sample of what happens when she meets a guy inked all over :
He points to his head, which has a tattoo of a barcode on it.
“This is my old army number.”
I look at the other side of his head which has a line of numbers. I point at them and say “What’s that, your therapist’s number?”
Cathy has never had to work because Tom ensured she didn’t have to. And now, at 54, despite her history degree, she is blank. But she has to start, and start she does.
Coming-of-age is a genre in itself. And in the stories of this genre, generally we have young protagonists. This book looked like a work that Nancy Meyer could adapt for the screen, with the difference that it has a 50+ woman as the lead. I don’t want to divulge too much about the plot here for fear of spoiling the book but I can safely say that the blurb isn’t wrong when it says that this a warm and funny book. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book. People around me looked suspiciously at me, time and again.
One thing that I struggled with was the names and descriptions of the various real-life British celebrities generously strewn through the book (like Donny Osmond from the blurb). Cathy references quite a few of them to explain how she, or another character in the book, looks like at a certain point. I have to say I didn’t know any of these people so I had trouble understanding that description. It wasn’t unless I googled them up after the 2nd or 3rd chapter that it became clearer to me. Obviously, it made the plot funnier.
The language is easy, the characters likeable, and the plot interesting enough to keep you turning the pages as you go.
The sad thing is that the author, Carol Kearney, passed away. This was, to the best of my knowledge, her first and last book. I hope she and her family will be glad to know that it is a laugh-riot.
Among all the books I have read this year, this is the one that I would recommend the most, regardless of one’s genre-and-taste constraints.
Verdict : Snap, Cackle And Pop is a book that keeps you in splits and gladdens your heart with its lovely story. A must-read.
Genre : Fiction, Romance, Comedy.
Reading Guide : You might not like the book if awkward, situational comedy isn’t your taste.
Where Can You Get This:
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Have you read Snap, Cackle And Pop? Did you like it? Do you agree with this review? Kindly tell me in the comments section.
Thanks for reading.