Stuff & Nonsense: Mrs Whippy


18 May 2013

Mrs Whippy


I find that the rules of ice-cream tasting are the same for most things in life. To experience true flavours and true feelings you need to pay attention to your senses. How do things look? How do things smells? How do things feel when you touch them or they touch you? How do they taste? And, very importantly, what memories do they leave you with?

I'd wanted to read Cecelia Ahern’s Mrs. Whippy for a while now, but couldn't find it at a library near me ... but then my public library started developing an ESL/literacy collection and one of the first volumes added was Mrs. Whippy! Mrs. Whippy is part of Gemma Media's Open Door Series of low-literacy novellas. Each novella, written by "known" Irish authors, is less than a hundred pages long, making them perfectly bite-sized reads.

In the case of Mrs. Whippy, delicious bite-sized reads.

Recently separated from her husband, who left her for "a twenty-three-year-old Russian lap dancer the size of a broomstick," middle-aged mum Emelda feels trapped in a downward spiral. Her sons, taking cues from their heel of a dad, act up and ignore her. Her best friend is too wrapped up in the affair she's having to offer Emelda any support. The only bright spot in her life comes from ice cream so it should be no surprise that thee arrival, one fated Monday, of Mr. Whippy's ice cream van into Emelda's neighborhood should herald great change.

The back cover blurb would suggest Mrs. Whippy is a romance and, while I admit there is a distinct possibility Emelda and Mr. Whippy will have a relationship, I would say this novel is much more about suffrage and self-empowerment. Emelda learns to put herself forward, to defend herself against the slights and condescension of others, to see the future as a thing of wonderful possibility ... and maybe that will lead her to romance.

Mrs. Whippy by Cecelia Ahern (Gemma Media, 2010)

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