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22gigantes.com - The narrator, Penny/Pennie, a knowing child, lives with sister Anne, flamboyant Mexican-American Mummy/Tita and retired Royal Navy Commander Daddy in an English seaside village. Tita, a plane crash survivor, feels she has lost out in life. Daddy is an inventor, but his inventions fail to catch on and money runs out. Tita takes the girls to live in Mexico City where Ian, a married man, falls in love with her. She divorces Daddy and marries Ian in a civil ceremony, thus scandalizing and alienating her from family, society and the Catholic Church. After marrying Tita, Ian is no longer the jovial uncle he had appeared to be. Unbalanced and irascible, this former spymaster exerts a hypnotic control over Tita. He terrorizes the girls, makes life unbearable for them, and his addiction to drugs—sedatives and sleeping pills—sends him over the edge. Motivated by a great-aunt and a family friend, the girls plot to do away with Ian using witchcraft, homemade poison, drugs, and voodoo. Their efforts have mixed results. Ian suffers a coronary thrombosis; he overdoses; a car runs over him. His drug addiction turns him into “the Zombie.” The Zombie/Ian creates havoc, and the girls and Mummy live in fear of his destructive actions. As the Zombie’s actions escalate, the girls are forced to make some drastic decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.
Best Review of Getting Rid Of Ian: A Memoir Of Poison, Pills, And Mortal Sins:
Most helpful customer reviews 4 of 4 people found the following review helpful. funny and heartbreaking at the same time By Laurie Henderson funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Written from a child's point of view, we share the wonder, challenge and frustrations of adapting to new and very different cultures. A silly self- involved mother disregards her daughters best interests and marries the titular Ian for money. Pennie and Anne attempt to rid themselves of awful Uncle Ian through sheer willpower if necessary. I was rooting for the girls the whole way. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful. Astonishing Achievement on Many Levels By Ellen B. Snortland I did NOT want this book to end; nonetheless, I couldn't read it quickly enough! Reading "Getting Rid of Ian" is a form of literary rubber-necking. You know it's a wreck and you shouldn't look but there you go. It's human nature to want to find out what it is like to be in another person's shoes for awhile. These shoes, happen to be inhabited by the child Penny (who changed it to Pennie mid-childhood) are in turns shoes of sorrow, glee and intense intelligence.The author does a splendid job of writing from a child's perspective without it being precious; precocious, yes. I was in turn rooting for them to actually succeed in "getting rid of Ian," and hoping that they would fail. At times, I wanted to "off" him myself.Penelope James is one of those writers that brings me along, keeps me turning the pages and makes me laugh too. This is a splendid book that deserves a large audience and a movie deal!Hey, if Harry Potter could take on He Who Must Not Be Named, Pennie and Anne (Pennie's co-conspirator younger sister) can certainly get a movie with He Who Was Named Ian. Just sayin'. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful. Emotional and descriptive By veronica Took me two days to read the book, wanted to keep reading!Full of emotion in the way the author vividly describes her life in England and then in Mexico as a child and a teenager. Having to live under the same roof with Ian and all the imagination on how to get rid of him, made my laugh, felt tension, made me cry, felt hopeful... See all 9 customer reviews...
Ian: Is he a pompous jerk? A control freak? A psychopath...or maybe all of the preceding? Whatever he is, he has few redeeming qualities. And two little girls from England want to get rid of him. Why is that? He terrorizes them; throws out their personal belongings; throws them out late at night; denies bathroom privileges; keeps a tight rein on the time spent with their mother, and makes weird demands. Finally, the two girls have had enough. So what do they do? Read this can't put-down memoir to find out. -- Marsh Cassady, author of "The Professional Writer: Getting Ideas, Avoiding Pitfalls." From the Back Cover Two little English girls in Mexico City plot to get rid of their crazy stepfather using poison, pills, witchcraft, and voodoo. Ian: Is he a pompous jerk? A control freak? A psychopath...or maybe all of the preceding? Whatever he is, he has few redeeming qualities. And two little girls from England want to get rid of him. Why is that? He terrorizes them; throws out their personal belongings; throws them out late at night; denies bathroom privileges; keeps a tight rein on the time spent with their mother, and makes weird demands. Finally, the two girls have had enough. So what do they do? Read this can't put-down memoir to find out. -- Marsh Cassady, author of The Professional Writer: Getting Ideas, Avoiding Pitfalls, and 55 books.Penelope James is Anglo-American-Mexican. Born in the U.K., she lived in Mexico 38 years before moving to the US in 2000. She has been writing professionally since 1992.CARLYON BOOKS San Diegocarlyonbooks.com About the Author Penelope James is Anglo-American-Mexican. "England, my country of birth, childhood, and youth, shaped me. Mexico, the country where I lived thirty-eight years imbued me with its culture and a Latina identity. The U.S., the country where I currently reside, opened up new opportunities that have led to a challenging new life."
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