A Book Review: Miranda Hart’s Peggy and Me
So, this is a bit of a departure for me! I have finally finished this book, which had been on the back burner for a number of months. It was, as the best books usually are, an impulse purchase while drawing to a close an hour long Waterstones browse with a friend rather more literarily inclined than myself. Ive always loved reading, but have never managed to manufacture the time. Well, actually, this is something of a lie. I have plenty of time, but it seems to get sucked into the abyss as Im browsing Facebook, or in the library doing some coursework due in three months later.
Anyway, the crux of what Im about to say is the book is very good - not literary genius good, but rather, holiday reading list good. Of course, its about pets. No prizes for guessing that. However, its done in a very inclusive way, so that even those who have yet to discover the joys of owning a small, four-legged mammal, can still access the book. Mirandas writing style is as unique as her comedy style. Its a very personal experience. One feels as though they are sat in some satined armchair, separated from her only by an antique, carved, occasion table with a plate of assorted British biscuits on it. Or something.
The birth of the book was an uncomfortable one. The first draft was stolen and the second completed whilst Hart suffered from an illness. However, the process has yielded a well thought through, touching product. The writing style is good, if not exceptional. I found the book could, at times, feel somewhat forced. This is echoed in Mirandas own opinions of the writing process as detailed in the book. This means that the flow can be disrupted occasionally. I feel that it would be better if Miranda dispensed any notion of needing to be funny, as I find some of the most enjoyable and insightful moments in the piece have been when she was recounting tales ad-lib.
With this in mind, I certainly enjoyed the book. It was on the whole funny, yet eye-opening. The book explored very mature narratives in an accessible way - using the dog to remove the sometimes oppressively serious air, that frequently clouds serious topics. One such topic was Mirandas exploration of her faith. Without spoiling the book, Miranda finds a new found confidence in God through experiences she has whilst caring for Peggy. Her perspectives to some may appear naive, but I think they give some insight into why many people pursue religion. The ability to give up worries to some higher entity is appealing, as it lets you focus on living an enjoyable life, without worrying about your greater plan. Miranda also explores issues surrounding human relationships and loneliness. She reflects on a lifetime of longing for a relationship and demonstrates the power of animal companionship to open ones heart to the rocky yet rewarding world of friendship and love.
One of the reasons I like Mirandas content so much is I see much of myself in her. Someone who lacks complete social adeptness, but who wants to enjoy a sociable life; who lacks self-confidence and an ability to understand others social intentions, but who wants good relationships with people.
So yes, in conclusion. Id certainly recommend the book. Just be aware this is no Anna Karenina or Of Mice And Men.