What’s new on the bookshelves

Best known as a comedian and occasional Loose Woman, Jenny Eclair has already written two other novels.

Her third – Life, Death And Vanilla Slices – is a story told in turn by 72-year-old Jean Collins and her 48-year-old daughter Anne.

While Jean, who’s in a coma after being knocked down crossing the road, listens to the gossip of the hospital nurses and entertains herself by recalling happier times, her middle class, pre-menopausal daughter finds herself at her mum’s bedside.

But while she’s there for her mum, she worries about what her two adolescent sons will get up to while she and her husband, who’s on a golfing holiday, are away.

It’s hard to relate to Anne at times, as her issues do sometimes seem relate to her privileged lifestyle.

But listening to average Jean talk about her humble past is a hoot.

Rating: 7/10