TITLE: SLEEPING WITH MOZART
AUTHOR: ANTHEA CHURCH
PUBLISHER: VIRAGO BOOKS
GENRE: CHICK LIT
BLURB FROM THE COVER
You had rejected me. So I rebelled.
This is a novel about a charming, funny and – undeniably – slightly eccentric young woman’s attempts to get over a broken heart. She is trying hard to be purposeful and strong, which by nature she is, but right now, she’s out of sorts and at odds with life and herself.
Her lover, Jamie, has called things off, saying he cannot give her everything she deserves. What he can give her, less usefully, is an exhaustive list of reasons why it would never work. And so Dorcas – her parents have a lot to answer for – tries to move on (dating? great!), but that is hard to do when staying stuck where she is, even with all its attendant misery, seems preferable. Is missing Jamie better, after all, than no Jamie at all?
Right, Jamie, I’ve done it and I’m very glad indeed that I didn’t have to tell you that in person or anyone else come to that, the staff for example, because if I had, I would have been awfully embarrassed but as I say, I mean write, I’ve done it, I’ve been.
I thought Sleeping with Mozart was great. Church offers something unique, honest, funny, sad and painfully real. I don’t read chick lit very much I have enjoyed some novels in this genre. Sleeping with Mozart reminded me of my own experiences when I was trying to get over a failed relationship. The sub title a love story after a fashion made me laugh.
I love the way Church structures Sleeping with Mozart. Dorcas (what a great name) is the first person narrator. The novel is written in the style of a sort of a journal, as if Dorcas is directly addressing her former married lover Jamie who has dumped her. Sleeping with Mozart is divided into sections that have headings that reflect the timetable of the school where Dorcas works (i.e. Geography, Feedback and Half Term). The narrative is non-linear and moves back in forth in time as Dorcas reflects on her affair with Jamie, her attempts to get over him by joining a dating agency and various comings and goings at school. I like the way Sleeping with Mozart is structured. Dorcas is a very intimate narrator. I felt very close to her.
Dorcas joins a dating agency called Bright Lights Ltd and goes on various dates. These scenes are hilarious. Tanya, the woman who runs the agency seems determined to set her up with all manner of dodgy men she has nothing in common with. I laughed so much I got a stitch in my side. I thought these scenes were very real. They reminded me of a time in my life when I belonged to an online dating site called The Pink Sofa and went on a few dodgy dates. I thought these scenes were wonderfully real.
I thought it was very sad when Dorcas recounts her relationship with Jamie. He was married and she knew this from the start. He claimed to love her but made every excuse not to leave his wife. He dumps her in the end because of the large age gap between them. I thought Dorcas’s pain was real. I thought the ending was very sad when Jamie is one of the inspectors assessing the school where Dorcas works. They have a brief reconciliation and Dorcas realises they have no future. I wanted to cry and give her a hug. Her pain was very real.
One of the best scenes takes place when Dorcas has to teach a Religious Studies class when the teacher is ill. The sick teacher set a discussion on adultery. Dorcas defends adultery because she committed it. This is hilarious because Dorcas tried to hide the fact her ex was a married man and doesn’t do this very well. There is one student, a devout Christian who gets into an argument with everyone. Brilliant stuff.