The Confusion of Karen Carpenter

3.71 based on 399 ratings & 68 reviews on

Publication date: 15.08.2013
ISBN: 9780230770584
Number of pages: 0


Hello. There are two things you should know about me:

1) My name is Karen Carpenter.

2) Just before Christmas my boyfriend left me.

I’m not THE Karen Carpenter. I just have the most embarrassing name in Christendom. Particularly as I’m no skinny minny and don’t play the drums.

I can’t even sing. I’m tone deaf. I work in a school in the East End. (Where I came third in a ‘Teacher we’d most like to sleep with’ competition amongst the Year 11 boys)

My Mum’s driving me mad. She’s come to stay and is obsessed with Scandi crime shows and Zumba.

Oh yeah. The boyfriend. After eleven ‘happy’ years he left me. No explanation just a post it on the kettle when I got in from work. I think I’m handling it really well. I don’t think I’m confused at all. What was my name again?

In the media

High-wattage witticisms and irresistible energy - a tonic.
Daily Mail
I enjoyed it HUGELY . . . It's a lovely book, Karen is a very likeable character and it's great fun, all the different plot-lines and potential twists totally had me hooked and kept me guessing, but all the same, the reveal totally blind-sided me. I really wasn't expecting it! . . . I take my hat off to you, it's a total page-turner, very entertaining, then very moving.
Marian Keyes
A choke-on-your-popcorn funny account of a special needs teacher . . . Despite the regular sniggers, the novel also has a serious side, tackling complex themes such as depression . . . Jonathan Harvey does a great job of writing from a woman's point of view.