** Winner of the 2006 MIND Book Award**
In Michele Hanson’s bittersweet columns in the Guardian, collected here, she explored the physical deterioration of her spirited and resilient elderly mother. From bowel trouble to views on Camilla Parker-Bowles, life is never dull in the Household from Hell.
A glamorous and much-admired young woman, in old age Michele’s mother still has power over everyone she meets. She alternately despairs of and adores her
grand-daughter and treats her daughter, now sixty-three, as though she is twelve. Michele observes the very slow decline of her mother, as she changes from vibrant, bossy, hilarious fault-finder general and head chef to frail, bedridden, helpless, speechless, but still formidable and brave old lady – who is able, to the very end, to have a laugh. Also included here is a piece by Amy, Michele’s daughter, by turns hilarious and touching, about living with her grandmother and coping with the changes that come. Speaking with emotional candour and gentle poignancy, Michele tells it like it is: somewhere between anguish and hope, tragedy and comedy, tears and laughter.