What to Read After... Mr Gum 19/08/19
The Best Medicine
Publisher: Little Island
Twelve-year old Philip Wright is a comedian in the making. Then one day, he tells his mother a joke, and she breaks down in tears. Philip is confused.
Concerned that he is losing his comedic ability, Philip writes to his hero Harry Hill for advice. Through Philip's narrative, and occasional letters to Hill, we see him discover and explore the truth about his mother's serious illness.
It's a brave challenge to unite the themes of cancer and comedy - however, the result is successful. The author's own experience of breast cancer ensures that the 'serious' elements of the story ring true, while her humour makes this a light-hearted and effectively irreverent read.
Philip's candour is refreshing, as he wishes that they could have been affected by a less embarrassing illness; one that did not require him to use the word 'breast'. A touching read that is also entertaining and uplifting.