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Comfort and Joy: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, September 27, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''Riotously high in laughs and glamour. I defy a festive grump not to be cheered by it.'' --Independent (London), a Book of the Year

''Laugh-out-loud funny . . . Perfect for snuggling up with over the Christmas holidays.'' --Cosmopolitan (UK)

''A wickedly funny, painfully honest look at families, festivities, and romantic love.'' --Marie Claire --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

India Knight is a bestselling writer and columnist for The Sunday Times in London, where she lives with her three children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Original edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143119818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143119814
  • ASIN: B007SRXP6Y
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just love India Knight's books - she has that amazing way of making me feel I know her characters the way she weaves their foibles into the stories.
This is the same set of characters as My Life on a Plate - only the story takes place years later. If you've read the first book, it makes reading this one even better, although it could stand alone.
It's the story of the main character, Clara and her relationships with her family - sounds dull when I say it like that but it's so well written and interesting and hilarious that I could read it again and again. I'm a Canadian with a British background (and sense of humour) and I love clever writing, absurdity and plain daftness. I think this appeals to be because the characters are at times ridiculous yet credible and it takes me on a departure to a world I enjoy - London and all its pretenses.
It was a great and funny read - loved it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - as I did India Knight's other semi-autobiographical novels: 'My Life on a Plate' and 'Comfort and Joy'. She is a terrifically funny writer and the romp through the ups and downs of her upper-middle class family life in the UK is a hoot - finely observed and in parts, very poignant. I was compelled to google Ms Knight to discover more about her and to put real names to the thinly-disguised characters about whom she writes so vividly. I was astonished to discover that her mother is Indian - oddly, this Asian background is conspicuously missing from the characterisation of Kate, her mother in the books (Kate is elegant, dark-haired, high-maintenance, oft-married - but that's all we're told) while conversely, the European backgrounds of her father, step-parents and in-laws are clearly referenced and drawn. This made me slightly sad and not a wee bit curious as to why it should be so, given that in interviews, Ms Knight talks about being proud of her Indian heritage. Nonetheless, an excellent read. Give it a go.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Clara's large and rather unorthodox family over three consecutive Christmases. Clara narrated some truly hilarious scenes and each character - both minor and major - came vividly to life. It was a genuine joy to read this last night, curled up near my own Christmas tree. Knight captured a lot of genuine emotion, but without the book exuding an overly sentimental or sappy tone. And many of the observations were absolutely spot-on! The charming characters really felt real, and when the book ended, I still wanted there to be Christmases with them. Clara's stream of consciousness was extremely entertaining. I would imagine that the immediate and very conversational tone would translate well to an audio version as well. I definitely will be keeping an eye out for other books by this talented author!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really loved Bridget Jones' Diary, but most other "chick lit" leaves me cold. I usually read A Christmas Carol during the holiday season. But when this popped up on my library's download page, I requested it out of curiosity and it came just in time for Christmas.

I was not expecting to laugh quite as much as I did, nor I was expecting some of the shocking language coming from a female writer/journalist, which I guess may be a double standard on my part, but I just don't read a lot of novels with such excessive swearing in conversation. I was amused though! It was all good!

Clara is a middle aged mother, dealing with a slump in her marriage and self esteem. Her life changes dramatically over a three year period, and we get to see the changes as observers at her annual Christmas party. Fun little book, easy read, very funny and at times, poignant. I may try more of Ms. Knight's writing in the future!
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Format: Paperback
I kept getting strange looks from my husband as I was reading India Knight's 'Comfort and Joy', because of the snorts of laughter that kept coming from my direction. Not lady-like, gentle little snorts, but great big loud honking snorts! First of all, you really need to 'get' India Knight's style of humour, espcially if you want a really good snort. She is often crude, near the knuckle and unforgiving. If you like your Christmas humour sedate and traditional then maybe Eric and Ernie would be more your thing.
Comfort and Joy is actually the sequel to 'My Life on a Plate' written years ago and we meet the lead character Clara; older but not really that much wiser. It's a couple of days before Christmas, Clara is flying around Oxford Street trying her best to not spend too much on presents for people that don't appreciate them and wondering how she gets herself into this state year after year.

The story goes on, introducing Clara's wildly dysfunctional circle of family and friends, including ex-husbands, sisters and old friends. Although this is a comic novel, there is also a underlying theme of tragedy lurking beneath the surface - the break-ups, the sadness, the stresses and the strains of life. I really enjoy India Knight's style of writing, it's a perfect pick me up.
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By HollyVK on January 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this to read over the holidays. While it is a story about the holidays with light-hearted moments, it was more fluff than comedic substance. I am reminded of why I generally avoid chick lit. There are many other more heartfelt or hilarious holiday stories out there that far outrank this wispy bit of complete fantasy.
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