Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Perfect Duet: My Review

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

I honestly could not wait to get my hands on Glenda Young's new book, A Perfect Duet: A Diary of Roy and Hayley Cropper. Glenda, of course, is the driving force behind the wonderful Coronation Street Blog. 

Glenda is passionate about all things Coronation Street and is a right lovely person too. She has shown me nothing but kindness, enthusiasm and encouragement since I began contributing to this blog as a complete novice back in November 2012. I therefore treated the arrival of my copy of her book with both trepidation and excitement.

This is my first proper book review so please be kind. It's also weird reviewing someone's work who I feel I know well, even though we've never actually met! I really, really wanted A Perfect Duet to be brilliant and I'm pleased to say I enjoyed every page.

It's a real Corrie fans' book. It will appeal to die-hard followers of Corrie and casual viewers alike. There is enough detail on Roy and Hayley's story to keep everyone happy. The best thing about this book for me is that while a lot of it is familiar, there were also little gems from the past sixteen years that I had forgotten. I loved recalling how Roy and Hayley first met; how sympathetic Alma was to them both; their clashes with Mike Baldwin, Les Battersby and the factory girls. It was clear to me that those early years were the best for the Croppers. Such brilliant storytelling and truthful performances.

The book covers all the main events in the Croppers' lives together, with regular appearances from the likes of Becky, Sylvia, Curly and Ken. Tantalising snatches of dialogue reminded me of Blanche Hunt in her prime and Steve McDonald's fiery relationship with the much-missed Karen. Both Cropper weddings are covered in detail as is their desperate longing for children - from fostering Fiz and kidnapping Wayne to the battle for baby Patience - it's all there.

WIth a wonderful, appreciative introduction from Julie Hesmondhalgh, this book has been given a pretty good seal of approval. I just wish there had been more of it. Like Roy and Hayley's on-screen story, I just didn't want it to end. I would also have loved it if the reader had been given a peak into what happened after the on-screen action. I would like to see what Glenda's imagination could do with these characters and hope there will be scope for that in her next book.

Above all, Glenda's love of these characters and Coronation Street comes shining through. I know this book meant so much to Glenda and I'm thrilled it has become a reality. She deserves all the success in the world with this, and I'm sure she'll get it. So, if you haven't already got your hands on a copy, get it ordered!!

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