The Year in Books: April…


Warning: This post contains gratuitous references to sadomasochism and accountancy – may not be suitable for those of a sensitive disposition…

April has been an unusually unsettling month for me. The Easter holidays always throw me out of what I laughingly call my routine,  but this was further complicated this month, when I was unexpectedly asked if I’d be interested in taking a six month work contract, doing some of the things I last did over fourteen years ago.

It well and truly sent me off kilter, as I juggled in my mind the pros (money) and cons (too many to mention) of taking it. I hadn’t realised how shallowly I’d buried some of my anxieties concerning office based working, commuting and work related stress. Well this certainly took me right back, only this time I had the addition of two daughters and a delinquent dog to add to the equation.

I spent a very uncomfortable couple of weeks worrying about life, the universe and everything, but when the company eventually found a more suitable candidate, my relief was palpable – in fact I’ve barely stopped grinning, which I think must tell you everything you need to know.

Which is my very round about way of saying that I haven’t read much fiction in April…

What I did read was a book I borrowed on my Kindle. I came across it one night as I lay browsing titles in bed – a very dangerous thing to do – at least in the old days of book shops, you didn’t often find yourself shopping in your nightie at midnight…

The title is Sadomasochism for Accountants, by Rosy Barnes.

Now I would like to point out that as someone from a marketing background, I have had extensive experience of accountants – I can’t say that we are natural bed-fellows; marketers are by nature fond of (and good at) spending money. whilst accountants pride themselves in saving money. It inevitably leads to the occasional conflict…

The only accountant I ever really liked, was the one who exasperated at my inability to provide my expenses on the correct form, offered to do them for me – an act of kindness which he assured me simply saved him time by not having to redo the drivel I gave him.

My experience of sadomasochism is rather more limited, although who knows, perhaps one day I might yet embrace my inner tapestry-needle wielding dominatrix…

I’m not entirely sure how Rosy Barnes feels about accountants, but her sympathies are rather more with the sadomasochists in this debut novel. It is in turns funny, sad and mildly disturbing, as it follows the attempts by Paula to regain the affections of her erstwhile partner, Alan by becoming less boring...

I can’t say that I found it quite as good as some of the reviewers on Amazon, but it was an easy, clever read, which considering my state of mind in April was just about what I needed. I’m not sure who the target market for this novel really is, but if she writes any more, I’ll probably give them a go. You never know if you don’t try it (as they say…)


The picture is a detail from a photograph in the tea-room at Rievaulx Abbey. I can’t show you the whole picture, as it has my daughter doing her impression of that expression alongside, and she would be less than impressed if I posted it!



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8 thoughts on “The Year in Books: April…

  1. It’s such a good book title. Difficult to live up to in the actual book! I hope that May brings balance and harmony.x

    1. Thank you, yes, who could ignore a title like that! Hope your May is similarly good – keep up the mountain walks, I’m sure they’re a magical way to balance the spirits.

  2. glad to hear you’ve been spared that work related stress – you have my undying envy!! The lovely, greening up in time for May Day, oak would miss you 🙂

    1. Oh I just can’t tell you how relieved I am – just goes to show that even after fourteen years, the scars are still there, but I know how lucky I am and am endlessly grateful 🙂

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