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The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman

A Novel

by Julietta Henderson

The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson X
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson
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  • Pamela C. (Boxborough, MA)
    Charming and uplifting story!
    I loved this book!! Norman Foreman and his Mom Sadie have a zest for life. Sadie is a dedicated mom. Even if she can't remember to buy food or do the laundry, she is always there for Norman. Norman seems to have started out from the" get go" with a can do attitude. He becomes best friends with Jax-they share a wild sense of humor. At ten years old they come up with a five year plan to do a comedy routine at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. The plan is already a stretch financially, but neither of them allowed for one of them dying. When Jax dies Norman decides he must stick with the plan and his Mom supports him. They are joined by Leonard, an old guy from Sadies' work, who, although he appears to be a sad sack, turns out to have super technical skills. Leonard, Sadie and Norman hit the road and even though they are all underdogs, and Norman is not prepared to do a solo comedy show, they forge onward. This book has many colorful characters, some real challenges, and is full of heart!!
  • Jamie K. (Berkeley, CA)
    A Tale of Hardship, Humor, and Heart
    As the daughter of a former stand-up comedian, I was immediately drawn to the story of the young, sensitive, skin-peeling, heart-broken protagonist, Norman Foreman. Told in alternating narrative from the points of view of Norman and his mum (who had some issues of her own to resolve) I loved bouncing between the two as they set forth on an adventure from Penzance to Edinburgh with a new best friend as their guide—a journey reminiscent of Milo's in The Phantom Tollbooth if he had set off with Bridget Jones and Ove instead of Tock and the Humbug. I cheered each milestone as Norman collected new friends along with some old jokes as he persevered in his mission, which like Milo's was thought to be impossible. The Funny Thing About Norman Forman is the more you get to know him, the more you understand his drive to succeed, his love for his mum, and his unwavering desire to fulfill a promise to a cherished, but recently departed friend.
  • Frances N. (San Francisco, CA)
    Absolutely Charming
    This is the sweetest, funniest and often times saddest book I have read in a long time. I loved every minute I spent with the characters. It may not be great literature, but I felt really good (as I am sure anyone would) when I finished and who can ask for more in a pandemic? I can hardly wait to put it in the hands of a friend.
  • Cherryl V. (San Francisco, CA)
    I loved this book. When I first started reading, I thought the plot would be somewhat formulaic, but I was quickly proved wrong. Sadie and Norman are a wonderfully human family that you can't help but root for as they carry on both their literal and figurative journeys. The ending was bittersweet and uplifting in equal measures. This is a book with a wonderful message about life, dreams and love, making it a great read for these pandemic times.
  • Laura C. (Woodworth, LA)
    An amazing adventure not to be missed
    Comedy and grief are perhaps surprising dual themes in a novel, but Julietta Henderson uses the two to weave a riotously delightful read in her debut novel, The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman. Twelve year old Norman and his single-mom, Sadie, are narrators who take the reader along on a car trip through Scotland, with their 80 year old friend, Leonard, a trip that has disaster written all over it from the outset. The twin goals of the trip are to find Norman's biological father, one of four former acquaintances of Sadie, and to allow Norman, an aspiring but not funny comedian, to fulfill his dream of performing his comedy routine at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to honor his recently deceased best friend, Jax, who indeed had real comedic talent. The author's insanely creative imagination (The Caramel Suite at the Soft Fudge Inn?!) and the cast of oddball, sometimes scary but lovable characters the trio meet along the way combine to provide an unforgettable and heartwarming ending. I laughed, I cried and I felt as if I were right there through all the zigs and zags of this amazing adventure. This is an uplifting and optimistic read for the times we are in. Book clubs and everyone else should enjoy it.
  • Susan S. (Salida, CO)
    Hilarious and delightful
    I was sorry to come to the end of the journey in THE FUNNY THING ABOUT NORMAN FOREMAN. I felt like I lost a friend, it was so engaging and fun. This story about a 12-year-old boy, his mother, his friend Jax and their driver, is a pleasure to read and will be long remembered. Every sentence has something to treasure – so well did the author craft every move and idea. Great for readers of any age older than Norman, this book will take up a warm spot in your heart. Like the conversations between Norman and his mother, this book might open up some very interesting exchanges of ideas and dreams. Indeed, there is so much to like about this book!
  • Karen R. (Columbus, OH)
    Found Family
    I loved this book. It has been hard for me to read during COVID times. This book kept my interest, and I cared about all the characters. I love quirky, interesting characters, and the found family concept. I thought about these characters even when I wasn't reading this book. I had the same feelings when I read and loved "The One In A Million Boy" by Monica Wood. It is hard to believe this is Julietta Henderson's first novel. Highly recommend.
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