• The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year

  • By: Sue Townsend
  • Narrated by: Caroline Quentin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $18.54

Buy for $18.54

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The day her children leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. She's had enough - of her kids' carelessness, her husband's thoughtlessness and of the world's general indifference. Brian can't believe his wife is doing this. Who is going to make dinner? But Eva won't budge; and soon she realises to her horror that everyone has been taking her for granted - including herself.

©2012 Lily Broadway Productions Ltd (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Hilarious and totally Townsend. There were parts where I laughed until I cried." (Daily Mail

"Laugh-out-loud...a teeming world of characters whose foibles and misunderstandings provide glorious amusement. Something deeper and darker than comedy." (Sunday Times)

 "Full of colour and glows with life." (Independent

What listeners say about The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • 09-09-12

Unbearable

What would have made The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year better?

The narrator is beyond annoying. Her voice is shrill most of the time.

What was most disappointing about Sue Townsend???s story?

I couldn't concentrate on the story at all. The voice was distracting.

How could the performance have been better?

I can only imagine another narrator would have improved the telling. It's hard to know where to start in fixing this.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger, frustration and annoyance. I had to turn it off.

Any additional comments?

It's a shame that the constant yelling in this book and the narration has taken away from what I think might have been a good story, but I'll never know because I can't get past the terrible job.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Annoying and self-indulgent characters

This book came highly recommended and was so disappointing. The main character, Eva, is selfish, ridiculous and truly annoying. She is surrounded by a cast of characters that range from funny to beastly. The audio performance is very good- makes up in a small way for the tedium and lazy plotting of the book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Quite Wonderful!

I have never laughed so much during any book - ever. At times, I hit rewind just so that I could re-listen and laugh out loud again.

I listened while I was driving, I listened while I was cooking, I listened at every possible opportunity I could because I just couldn’t get enough of this intriguingly hilarious story.

Not to mention how absolutely perfect Caroline Quentin is as a narrator!

A true WINNER, if I could rate this book 7 out of 5, I would.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed until the end…

Fascinating story with multiple facile thoroughly enjoyable and great narration. However the ending seemed rushed And file chapter or less than lackluster. Such a disappointing end to such a wonderful and creative storyline.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More than a few good laughs!

This book had me laughing most of the way through and I really liked the narrator. I would have given it 5 stars but the ending was a bit lack luster. It was a good diversion in between the business self-help and serial killer books I normally read. 🤣

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Maybe staying in bed for a year isn't the best move!

Excellent book.

I only wish I knew what happened to everyone the following Christmas.

Kudos to the writer.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, not-so-good ending.

I was happily enthralled with this book-and unexpectedly disappointed with the end. Very flat ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A thoroughly enjoyable read

As a fan of Sue Townsend from the days of Adrian Mole, I was very excited to see a new title available. It certainly didn't let me down! This book was brilliantly simple, extremely funny and very well narrated. I couldn't recommend this book any more, especially to those women who can identify with needing a year in bed!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Adult content

I loved Sue Townsend's Public Confessions of a Middle Aged Woman so I bought this book thinking it would be good too. Perhaps I am a prude but I just don't enjoy vulgar (see you can tell my age) language, particularly when it is injected just for the shock value. Th narrator was fine I just could not finish this book , did not suit my taste at all.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No I wouldn't, I haven't finished it because I got fed up

Would you listen to another book narrated by Caroline Quentin?

Yes, she is fine to listen to

Any additional comments?

I found the story quite funny in parts, but after about 4 hours I got fed up with the story. I noticed that I was zoning out when listening to the book because it wasn't holding my interest. I will try and finish it because I want to know what happens when she finally gets out of bed.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beatrice
  • Beatrice
  • 03-11-12

Great Story, Silly Accents

Eva’s obnoxious cheating husband and emotionally retarded twins have taken her for granted throughout her married life, so when the kids leave for University, she takes to her bed. This story tells of her transformation and the characters that come into her life after she starts to live in her bedroom. I really enjoyed this audio book, as I could really identify with the main character Eva. Some of the dialogue really hit home, as I too am around the same age as the main character, have a girl and boy and a (ex) husband who was a waste of space!

But what slightly spoiled it for me was Caroline Quentin’s ridiculous accent for some of the characters, particularly Ruby, Eva’s Mum. I actually found myself mocking the reader back as some of the pronunciation was so ludicrous (supposedly a Leicester accent?)

However, I would still recommend any woman, or man, come to that, of a certain age to listen to this book as much of it will hit home. Although the theme is slightly melancholy, there are loads of laugh out loud moments and hilarious situations.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Melissa
  • Melissa
  • 04-09-12

Shallow and Ignorant

When I saw the blurb for this book, I thought it sounded like an interesting idea and expected a bit of a commentary on modern stresses and how it can compel people to give up altogether or avoid their problems. There is so much potential here for an engaging, moving, and humourous story - Instead, I got a woman going to bed for a year for no reason whatsoever, in a badly-paced, unoriginal, shallow story with no understanding of the human issues involved. The protagonists were not only unlikeable but uninteresting, and the so-called "humour" was juvenile, unfunny, and often bad taste. There is a whole section purely about body waste and the woman's crusade to find someone to get rid of her excretions in bags because she doesn't want to go to the bathroom anymore! No reason given. There is no indication of depression mental illness or bad experiences to explain her reluctance. She simple appears to be a spoiled brat.

This brings me to my major grievance with the novel: because of the lack of reasonable explanation for Eva's taking to her bed, the whole premise serves as a great big slap in the face to those, like myself, who are condemned by ill health to spend much of their lives in bed. I would LOVE to be able to do more; to go to the supermarket on my own, to get married and have children and a normal life, as Eva had beforehand. Seeing this character wilfully making everyone run around after her when there appears to be nothing wrong with her made me so angry I could happily have throttled her, when I often make myself ill trying to do more than I should so I'm not a burden to others. And yes, I have suffered from serious depression, and believe me, it is nothing like this. If depression is meant to be the cause for her choices, then the portrayal is sadly lacking.

I actually couldn't finish; I kept listening for as long as I could in the hopes that Eva would learn a lesson or that the characters would grow from the experience, but I couldn't stand it

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sharon
  • sharon
  • 04-07-13

For grown up Adrian mole fans

I'm a fan of Adrian mole so was interested to see what else the author could come up with. I wasn't disappointed - funny sad true! It has a easy to listen to theme. The best bit has to be the main character explaining to her husband how to prepare for Christmas Day - hilarious and scarily accurate!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amanda
  • Amanda
  • 12-18-12

A disappointment

This book drove me mad. It just rambled on and on. I just couldn't get into all the different characters that kept dipping in and out the book. And I wanted to tell the lady to get out of the bed and what a waste of a life! I also got fed up with Caroline Quentin who talks in a baby voice all the time. I usually try to finish my books but I just couldn't with this!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R
  • R
  • 04-03-12

Not good, short on laughs or depth

I've always enjoyed Sue Townsend's books but this book seems to have no real point and none of the characters are likeable (maybe that is the point). It meanders without any real plot progression and comes across as quite bitter, it doesn't have the playfulness of the likes of Adrian Mole but just wallows in self-absorbed unpleasant characters. If this was by anyone else then I wouldn't have stuck with it at all and I'd suggest you skip it as well.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Karen
  • Karen
  • 03-15-12

Comedy & Tragedy

Sue Townsend, genius author of the Adrian Mole series, tackles depression and loss of direction with her usual skill and aplomb.
I defy anybody reading this novel to proceed until the end without laughing out loud and also wiping away tears.
S.T. keep writing thought provoking books, I am a committed fan!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Creative Butterfly
  • Creative Butterfly
  • 01-29-13

I simply couldn't stand the narration.

The blurb sounds good but the book doesn't live up to it. Firstly I have to tell you how annoying the narration was. I hated everyone's accents and it seemed that the narrator was screaming throughout the book. It is simply horrible. Make sure you listen to the sample so you can make your own decision. In the end I gave up listening and decided to read it. It made it much better but I had the awful narrators take on the characters in my head. The book starts off well and the characters were interesting but about half way through you start to wonder "Where is this going?" and it simply goes down hill. What seems like a funny book with a middle aged women take on life takes a silly turn. Disappointing.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs
  • Mrs
  • 08-03-12

So Funny!

I laughed my way through piles of Ironing! This is one of the funniest Books I've heard for years.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joanne
  • Joanne
  • 04-24-12

Promising start disappointing end

I really enjoyed the first half of the book, the plot was a bit unbelievable, but the characters made it seem possible. However, disappointingly it all started to unravel in the final third and became too far fetched.

Loved 95% of Caroline Quintens narration, but just every so often there was a screech or shout that really peirced the eardrums.

In summary, a light-hearted listen, but not Adrian Mole standard.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Greenie
  • Greenie
  • 04-14-12

Why?

This book had me laughing out loud once or twice, but by the second half, Caroline Quentin`s voice had begun to grate a tad, and the accents she gave some of the characters made them seem a sandwich short of a picnic. And while I thought the idea of going to bed and making everyone wait on me was quite appealing, Eva soon lost any sympathy I had for her as she developed into a whiney, self centred woman. The book just finishes, there`s no satisfying conclusion, in fact, there`s no conclusion at all. Hence the title of this review. Still, it passed a few shifts at work, but not one I`d recommend.

6 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle
  • Michelle
  • 02-03-21

Waiting for clarity

I was longing to find out , why? Why had she done all of it? What did she learn or get out of the experience? What was the point of it all? I have never been so disappointed in an ending.

1 person found this helpful