Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £17.39

Buy Now for £17.39

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Winner of the Audiobook of the Year – Specsavers National Book Awards 

What happens when a duvet day turns into a duvet year?

The day her twins leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For 17 years she's wanted to yell at the world, 'Stop! I want to get off'. Finally, this is her chance. Her husband Brian, an astronomer having an unsatisfactory affair, is upset. Who will cook his dinner? Eva, he complains, is attention seeking. But word of Eva's defiance spreads. Legions of fans, believing she is protesting, gather in the street. While Alexander the white van man brings tea, toast and sympathy. And from this odd but comforting place Eva begins to see both herself and the world very, very differently.... 

©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
    137
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    97
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    29
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    154
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    13
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    28

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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

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
    5 out of 5 stars

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

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
    5 out of 5 stars

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
    2 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • 03-04-12

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

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

Not funny

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I found this book to be unfunny and very tedious. I did not like any of the characters in the book, Eva herself was selfish and unlikeable, i couldnt sympathise with her descisions and the twins were childish and void of any discernible qualities.
I persevered but this was definately not for me.
The reading of the sotry by Caroline Quentin was great though. her voice is very easy to listen to.

What will your next listen be?

Lisa Gardiner

What three words best describe Caroline Quentin’s voice?

very soothing to listen too, i found myself wandering off working away without actually paying any attention to the story itself.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

A suprisingly enjoyable tale that was well read. It took me a little time to get used to Caroline Quentin's delivery which I found a bit full on at the start. As the story went on however, I realised it was pitched perfectly. Her Leicester accent sounded spot on to me (as a fairly frequent visitor the city for work). Good idea, well exectuted.

3 people found this helpful

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

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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S
  • 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
Profile Image for Jennifer M Matheson
  • Jennifer M Matheson
  • 28-02-22

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
Profile Image for Brenda
  • Brenda
  • 13-03-13

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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Johanna Daye
  • Johanna Daye
  • 02-10-21

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
Profile Image for Cheryl tucker
  • Cheryl tucker
  • 24-05-21

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
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-17

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
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-17

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
Profile Image for Aimee
  • Aimee
  • 01-10-14

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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E.R.
  • E.R.
  • 12-08-14

Didn't live up to the hype for me

Was The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year worth the listening time?

I bought this book based on all the reviews. People said they couldn't stop laughing, etc. Maybe if you're a middle-aged, under appreciated mother and home-maker you'd think it was hilarious, but I quit listening to it halfway through because I just didn't think it was funny or even interesting.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suzire
  • Suzire
  • 10-01-13

Enjoyable listen, excellent narration!

Where does The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

No. 1 but have only listened to 3 so far!

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Ending was too abrupt and unresolved for me

What about Caroline Quentin’s performance did you like?

Loved it, voices were clear and inflections were excellent

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both!

Any additional comments?

Thoroughly enjoyable listen although the ending spoiled it a little for me. Would definitely recommend it regardless :)