When We Were Bad : A Novel, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


From the Booker longlisted author of Almost English Shortlisted for the Orange Prize 'The Rubin family, everybody agrees, seems doomed to happiness' Claudia Rubin is in her heyday.

Wife, mother, rabbi and sometime moral voice of the nation, everyone wants to be with her at her older son's glorious February wedding.

Until Leo becomes a bolter and the heyday of the Rubin family begins to unravel ...'As intelligent as it is funny.

A beautifully observed literary comedy as well as a painfully accurate description of one big old family mess' Observer 'Fast-paced and engaging.

Brilliant, touching and true' Naomi Alderman, Financial Times 'Absolutely spellbinding, so funny, so moving, so totally believable' Jacqueline Wilson 'Intelligent and witty. The Rubin family may be a singular one but the delights and the difficulties its members have with sex and spirituality, food and domesticity, expectation and achievement, will have a universal appeal' Sunday Telegraph 'Funny and emotionally true, this is a comedy with the warmest of hearts and the most deliciously subversive of agendas' Book of the Month, Marie Claire When We Were Bad is a warm, poignant and true portrayal of a London family in crisis, in love, in denial and -- ultimately -- in luck..


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I loved this. It was a great read and also perceptive in its understanding of family dynamics.

Review by

I enjoyed this novel. It had good narrative drive, made me smile at times added to which there was some excellent conversation. I did have to suspend quite a lot of disbelief at the two eldest adult children's slow emancipation as fully developed free-thinking individual but overall very readable.

Review by

Excellent portrayal of a crisis- ridden family trying to maintain the illusion of normality and success. It opens at Leo's wedding and follows his and Frances' bids for freedom, their mother's attempt to maintain her position and their father's secret life as he prepares for a momentous occasion. The fact that the family is Jewish adds an interesting dimension and gives the plot events to hang on. It's very well done, funny and clever. I've read another book by this author and will look out for her others.

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