Random Deaths and Custard: BBC Book 1

The first book in my 2011 reading challenge is Random Deaths and Custard by Welsh Author Catrin Dafydd.  This is her first book to be written in English although Welsh phrases do crop up which add to the enjoyment.

The main character is Samantha.  She is 18yrs old and lives in the Rhondda and works at the local custard factory.  Sam experiences “random deaths”, bizarre accidents that, according to Sam, are near-death experiences.  Cue one choking incident with a fish finger and an incident with a trifle bowl.

The book gives us Sam’s story; her grandmother’s death, her relationship with the rest of her family and her mother’s new boyfriend, her work colleagues.

Random Deaths and Custard is written in the vernacular in the style of “Valley Welsh” and in the first person.  Reading it and getting my “ear in” to the valley accent took me right back to when I used to listen to my Auntie Beryl!

It’s a lovely read.  Light, funny and real laugh out loud moments when you realise Sam has got things mixed up again; like the name of her “to be” boyfriend.  But there are moments when real life comes to the fore in the guise of her brother, suffering from PTSD after serving in Iraq.  He “freaks” out which leads to a traumatic incident with a cat which I did find upsetting.

All in all though a book I would thoroughly recommend and a great start to my reading list.


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