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The Carer

Written by: Deborah Moggach
Narrated by: Patience Tomlinson
Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Tulip Fever, a deliciously funny, poignant and wry novel, full of surprising twists and turns. 

James is getting on a bit and needs full-time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, who seems willing to take him off their hands. But as James regales his family with tales of Mandy's virtues, their shopping trips and the shared pleasure of their journeys to garden centres, Phoebe and Robert sense something is amiss. 

Is this really their father, the distant figure who never once turned up for a sports day, now happily chortling over cuckoo clocks and television soaps? 

Then something happens that throws everything into new relief, and Phoebe and Robert discover that life most definitely does not stop for the elderly. It just moves onto a very different plane - changing all the stories they thought they knew so well.

©2019 Deborah Moggach (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

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  • Rachel Redford
  • 11-09-19

Life is even messier than they imagined!

This is a splendid book which makes wry humour and scalpel-sharp insights about a most unpromising topic for a novel - home care for the elderly.

Robert and Phoebe's old father has broken his hip and now needs home care. In steps Mandy - a bulky Brummie with Rosemary West specs who all too quickly is calling the fiercely academic old man 'Jimmy' and taking him off on trips to the shopping mall. What's her plan? Why is she rooting in his desk drawers? Is James being forced to change his will in her favour? How does Mandy know so much about the family?

Each member of the family has his or her own voice in separate sections: James's dead wife whose demure obedience masked a nest of secrets; Phoebe with her sex sessions with a loner in a caravan; Robert's no-good marriage to a a woman who constantly belittles him, not least for his never-to-see-the-light-of-day novel he's writing; James himself ..... but I mustn't spoil the story. It's all worked out in detail, everything finally fitting into place with everyone (including us) learning a great deal about themselves and facing a whole host of unpleasant candid facts about growing old.

I loved it - the plot's twists and turns hold the listener and the hard-hitting observations about life are swathed in wit & humour . The narration by Patience Tomlinson is just right: warm, forthright with voices and accents completely real and natural.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sam N
  • 13-08-19

loved it

This book is easy to listen to and has great characters and storyline. The narration is good. I recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Puffin Face
  • 17-08-19

Good, but...

Seemed like a good two thirds too long. First third was great.

Excellent narrator made good job regardless.

3 people found this helpful

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  • fisherwoman
  • 20-07-19

Loved it

Even my husband who isn't generally in to this type of thing wanted to listen to this story over watching the tv.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 16-10-19

Caring is sharing


Always like it when a book you pick up on the 2-4-1 sale turns out to be a goody

This is a gentle book and will not light everyones fire. It’s written with thought and compassion. It had me laughing out loud and with a tear in my eye the next

It’s so much more than the summary blurb and gets into the human psyche from youth to old age.

I highly recommend it, even if you read it as a palate cleanser between more heavier novels.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maricela H. Plommer
  • 03-09-19

Good story.

Makes you think about the way you may someday need help and your kids aren't around to help..

2 people found this helpful

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  • alan nutbrown
  • 15-11-19

Back to her original best

Nice family story, Deborah Moggach has a special skill for describing people and their feelings and habits.
Good narrator

1 person found this helpful

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  • widdale
  • 21-02-20

Funny and realistic

Great performance by the reader, one of the best I've heard. Would highly recommend. It was easy to get through and a good story.

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  • Somebodyelse
  • 03-01-20

Nothing happens

I kept listening to this audio book thinking something must happen....but I really could find a plot. The characters where dull, and unlikeable, and it feels immature and linguistically lacking in the writing compounded with nonexistent story line; so much padding and no twist, I feel I wasted time listening to this book.
The narration was not great, she couldn't keep up the different accents, brummy turned into west country, and the welsh accent morphed into something unrecognisable.
However its got some good reviews so I guess it must appeal to some. Just not to me!
.

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  • Nina
  • 15-12-19

Interesting twist

At the end of part one I wondered how much more there could be to the story. The answer is 'quite a lot'.
I gave the performance 4* because when I enjoyed the narrator's delivery, I found her attempts at the male characters somewhat irritating but I don't know how one gets round this.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 19-08-19

The cater

I really enjoyed this book good characters and an easy read. I will try and dip into Deborah Moggachs stories again.
Good reader too.