Comfort and Joy
India Knight

Book cover image

Narrated By: Lucy Brown

Duration: 7 hours and 14 minutes

What to expect

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of India Knight's darkly comic Comfort and Joy. Read with humour and sensitivity by Lucy Brown, the star of the hit show Primeval.

It's December 23rd and Clara Dunphy is running around Oxford Street like a blue-arsed fly trying to buy presents. She wants to make Christmas perfect: it's a lifelong ambition. And a challenging one at the best of times, even without taking her sixteen guests - sorry, "loved ones" - and their varying degrees of social dysfunction into account. Meanwhile, something weird has happened to her marriage, and the ho, ho, ho is thin on the ground.

Why does Christmas have such an emotional hold over us? Why does family stuff hit the peak of its madness on December the 25th? And is it okay to want more than you have, when what you have seems so enviable from the outside?

A blackly funny, tender dissection of the meaning of love - family love, sibling love, children love - Comfort and Joy will make you laugh and cry.

Genre

Humorous fiction, Family life fiction, Modern and contemporary fiction

Listen to a sample

Breathless, ­colourful, hilarious and honest; the dialogue is sitcom-snappy and the opening scenes in Oxford Street positively Joycean

Daily Mail

A wickedly funny, painfully honest look at families, festivities and romantic love

Marie Claire

Riotously high in laughs and glamour. I defy a festive grump not to be cheered by it

Independent Books of the Year

A superb ear for dialogue...wonderfully comic

Evening Standard

I loved Comfort and Joy, a hilarious, bawdy yet touching portrait of Christmas over three years

Guardian Books of the Year

Witty enough to make you laugh out loud, but there are moments of real emotion that keep the book from being too light

Psychologies

Fast-paced and funny

Women & Home

Fabulous. Laugh-out-loud funny, moving and as cuddly as Santa Claus, this is perfect for snuggling up with over the Christmas holidays

Cosmopolitan

Tender, tough, schmaltzy, witty and heart-warming all at once. Knight has a great comic touch - there are some wonderfully rude bits and a fantastic rant about the ridiculous expectations piled on 21st-century women to be perfect - and writes with a deceptive lightness. At the heart of this funny, affectionate novel is an acknowledgement that families, like love, come in odd shapes and sizes, and that both matter more than anything

Metro

So kindly and funny and affectionate that you could probably warm your hands on it. Miraculously, this is a feel-good story that manages not to be saccharine. There are a great many good jokes here . . . but concealed amid the fun, like silver coins in a Christmas pudding, is a serious theme. This is a book you could safely give to practically anyone. Snap up plenty of copies to hand around under the tree

Spectator

Touching...it will make you laugh, maybe make you cry and keep you reading past bedtime