Comedians make me nervous. Books by comedians make me more nervous still. What if they’re just not as funny as they profess they are? What if they’re downright boring?
However, I had an inkling that sassy and successful comedian-turned-writer Michèle A’Court’s Stuff I forgot to tell my daughter, would be made of stronger stuff. Thankfully I wasn’t wrong. As a new mum to a daughter myself, I appreciated her sage advice, and hilarious wisdom. I also learnt a couple of genius life-saving-in-the-modern-world tips I wish my mother had told me, such as how to preserve a pair of tights.
If this sounds like I’m diminishing the book. I’m not. In Stuff I forgot to tell my daughter A’Court tackles what it is to be a contemporary New Zealand woman. She confronts Big Issues, such as feminism, divorce, sexuality, and sexual violence, all while giving us a glimpse into her road map through the rough emotional landscape we all chart with our family. She does it all with grace, wisdom and humour.
“Every middle-aged women wants to say in a firm, clear, loving voice to every young woman: ‘I have been you, but you haven’t been me, yet. You should listen.’”
While this is a book about women, and mothers and daughters, it’s also a book for men, and fathers and sons will also find something that resonates with them. As A’Court says, “for ‘she’ and ‘her’ you will need to substitute ‘he’ and ‘him’ so you feel included. Don’t worry: ladies have to do that all the time when they read books or listen to songs.”
A’Court’s jokes aren’t one hit wonders with a punch line that has you laughing for a moment before forgetting it. Her’s are the best kind, stories that are so brilliant and true that you laugh and linger on them for days.
To use A’Court’s own shopping wisdom (which as a woman with-a-penchant-for-shopping-but-also-a-budget, I identified with) buying this book will not only make you happy and you’ll want to share it with your friends, it will actually save you money in the amount of tights you won’t have to buy in the future. Trust me on this one.