|(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
Little Miss Sunshine meets Wonder in this delightfully charming, uplifting book club debut about a twelve-year-old would-be comedian who travels across the country to honor his dead best friend’s dream of performing in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe—the only problem being that his friend was the funny one of their duo.
Twelve-year-old would-be comedian Norman has got a lot going on, including a chronic case of psoriasis, a distinct lack of comic timing and a dead best friend. All his life it’s just been him, his single mum Sadie, and Jax, the ‘funny one’ of their comedy duo. So when Jax dies not only is Norman devastated, it’s also the end of the boys’ Five Year Plan to take their comedy act to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe when they turned fifteen.
But Norman decides to honor Jax by performing at the Fringe, on his own. And not when he’s fifteen—but rather in four weeks’ time. But there’s another, far more colossal objective on Norman’s plan that Sadie wasn’t quite ready for: Norman wants to find his father. Eager to do anything that might put a smile on her boy’s face, Sadie resolves to face up to her own messy past and track down the father who doesn’t even know Norman exists, and whose identity Sadie herself isn’t quite sure of.
Thus begins a road trip from Cornwall to Scotland, featuring a mother and son who will live in the reader’s heart for a long time to come.
What a wonderful story! Sweet, funny, and tender are three words I'd use to describe Julietta Henderson's debut novel, The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman. She's created a terrific story about friendship, family, loss, love, and life. You can't help but get caught up in Norman's grief and his plan to honor his BFF Jax, along with his other plan of seeking out his father. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. This book will have you sobbing, laughing, and smiling all the way through.
Norman is twelve years old. His BFF is Jax. They are a comedy duo with dreams of performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe when they turn fifteen. Except, Jax suddenly dies. And, Norman is left with a Jax-sized hole in his life. He's lost his BFF, his partner in comedy, and the one person who always managed to get him to try new things and enjoy life. Mired in grief, Norman decides he will honor Jax. Yep, he's going to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe THIS year. Oh, and he's decided that it's about time he met his father. Say what? Norman is determined and he's made a new plan. Sadie, his mother, is also missing Jax. She worries about Norman as she watches him coping with his grief. And when she learns about his new plan, she shares her concerns with an older friend named Leonard. After listening to Sadie, Leonard hatches a plan to help Norman. He decides they are going to take his car and they are going to get Norman to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to perform and they are going to find his father. Sadie was not expecting this at all. She's not really sure who Norman's father is and she worries how Norman will handle a critical audience when he performs. And yet, she goes along with Leonard's plan, because she is willing to try anything to make her boy smile. Plus, Norman keeps reassuring her that the worst has already happened, so everything to come must be better than what's already happened. So, off they go, packed for an adventure and filled with hope, along with some anxiety and nervousness. And, that is all I will write about this fantastic story. You MUST read it for yourself - you are going to fall in LOVE with The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman.
The writing is top notch. The characters are unforgettable. And the story is unputdownable. Henderson has written a truly delightful read that will warm your heart. This is one book you won't forget. So, I would happily recommend The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - check it out!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!