Mr Doubler Begins Again is a story around friendship, family and loneliness. I felt a real affection towards Mr Doubler, as I have myself experienced periods of loneliness whilst being a military wife.
Mr Doubler has lived on his own for a long period of time and bought up his children as his wife was not around. He seemed to try and be both mother and father at times his children probably saw this as a detriment to their time with their father. However, upon reflection, when all the emotions are dissolved – Mr Doubler did an amazing job, despite being in a difficult situation. Mr Doubler is also a passionate potato farmer, however, he has many other talents that others may not realise that he is hiding and he is trying to make a difference.
Mr Doubler has a housekeeper, Mrs Millwood, who helps him maintain the house and they often share lunchtimes together. Even from the beginning, I felt they both had so much in common and a mutual respect for on another that was simply infectious. Their relationship seem one of co-dependency and Mrs Millwood encouraged Mr Doubler to fulfil his dream but pushed him to do things that he would never had dreamed of such as volunteering at the local animal shelter. During this time, he did not realise that he would be spending time with like minded people and people that he may have more in common than he expected.
Mr Doubler starts to open his eyes to his adult children and their own issues they have within their own lives, good, bad and ugly. One of his children, Julian was particularly vile and full of greed and jealously. But, what he needed to do was to step back and really look at what is going on and to stop being self-centred. He has spent a long time protecting his children, but now he deems it to be the appropriate time to speak of what actually happened, the home truths. Does his children really want to hear this?
I adored this book from start to finish and it filled my heart with warmth and joy. It showed to never underestimate people and to never judge people on inital impressions. Seni’s writing was simple, but yet beautiful and I just found the book to be one that made me smile at the end. You saw the incredible strength of friendship and at times unlikley ones – but, most of all you experienced a strong bond within the community and the strength and power that can bring. You experience the growth of confidence and well-being within the group of friends. You see the fog slowly lifting from Mr Doubler’s eyes and he can finally see a positive future.
Even now, I continue to smile when I think of this novel. Bravo Seni!
About the Book
Baked, mashed, boiled or fried, Mr Doubler knows his potatoes. But the same can’t be said for people. Because, since Doubler lost his wife, he’s been all on his own at Mirch Farm, perched high above a small town.
And that suits Doubler just fine. Crowds are for other people. The only friends he needs are his potato plants and his housekeeper, Mrs Millwood who visits everyday.
So when Mrs Millwood is taken ill, it ruins everything – and Mr Doubler begins to worry that he might have lost his way.
But could the kindness of strangers be enough to bring him down from the hill?
Mr Doubler Begins Again is a celebration of food, friendship and kindness, and a reminder that it’s never too late for a new start.
“True love doesn’t go away, but the pressures of life can do things to people. Who knows why some people react so differently? Sometimes it’s just an ageing thing like wine. Some wines are best drunk right away, as soon as the wine is made. And then no amount of keeping it and nurturing it will make it any better. Others aren’t that great first of all, but they get better and better.”
Mr Doubler Begins Again is published by Harper Collins