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Madame Doubtfire, known as Alias Madame Doubtfire in the United States, is a English Children's Fiction Prize (shortlist); – Observer Teenage Fiction Prize (shortlist); – Whitbread Children's Book Award (shortlist). Madame Doubtfire book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Lydia, Christopher and Natalie are used to domestic turmoil. Thei. It's hard to think of "Madame Doubtfire" without getting visions of Robin Williams, and I suspect most people are unaware that the story of the father who poses as.

Madame Doubtfire Book

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Madame Doubtfire by bestselling author Anne Fine is a wonderfully funny, punchy story about family life. Lydia, Christopher and Natalie are. Madame Doubtfire by bestselling author Anne Fine is a wonderfully funny, Madame Doubtfire is reissued in 'A Puffin Book' series of Puffin. Daniel and Miranda Hilliard are divorced and have three children, but Daniel has a plan to be with his children. A modern story about a broken home that.

When Anne Fine, 46, first dreamed up the story Madame Doubtfire, she had no idea that Madame Doubtfire's name and her story would be borrowed by Hollywood and turned into a box-office hit. I don't want people to think that the cross-dressing character in my book was inspired by the lifestyle of this woman,' she said. As a young mother she would push the buggy past Madame Doubtfire's jumbled up bric-a-brac shop.

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The shop was full of jewellery and old furs. In , Madame Doubtfire died, aged Her shop was turned into an estate agency. Mrs Fine moved away and settled at Barnard Castle, near Darlington.

She hadn't been back to the shop but in she wrote the book, Madame Doubtfire. For eight years it sat on library shelves and children's bookshelves, praised but hidden. In the film, Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a divorced man so devoted to his kids that he resorts to dressing as a woman to keep visiting them.

Disguised as a stout, elderly half-Scottish nanny named Doubtfire, beaming with grandmotherly benevolence, Daniel descends into the household of ex-wife Miranda Sally Field and their three children, winning hearts and straightening out habits. Mrs Fine went to see a preview.

She says she enjoyed it.

She recognised some of the lines and admired Robins Williams's performance. Did she feel proud to see her book on screen?

The book is about divorce and the effect it has on the children. The film is about a man dressed in drag.

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Mrs Fine says the book is valuable because it explores the jealousies, heartbreaks and inevitable recriminations of divorce. The film touches on these issues, but with a gloss.

She says she does not feel exploited. Her book is still there. It is 'untouchable'. She sometimes wonders if she has been ripped off financially. She received enough to buy a Victorian garden with no gate and a 7ft wall around it. But it was a 'wodge' of money, not a 'windfall', and she knows how much the film has grossed over pounds 67m in the US to date. Anne Fine, began her writing career after the birth of her first child.

Alias Madame Doubtfire

Her debut novel, The Summer House Loon, is about the loneliness of a teenage girl learning about adult relationships and is said to have reflected her own frustrations as a young mother. She sent it to Cape, whose polite and discouraging rejection deflated her so much that she hid the manuscript under the bed.

It was resurrected for the Kestrel Guardian competition in and she came in runner-up. Heralded as 'one of the genuine discoveries of the decade' with her debut novel, she has always been a celebrity in the world of childrens' books. But not in the adult world.

Until recently she has been ignored. Now everyone wants to meet her, speak to her, look at her, read about her.

She is the person who invented the husky, hairy, huge drag queen - that endearing half Tootsie, half Mary Poppins figure. The attention is flattering, Mrs Fine will admit, if a little late. She has written seven books since she wrote Madame Doubtfire. Mrs Fine decided to write the book after living in California for five years. Everyone she knew there was divorced. She was very impressed by the way the parents handled it. Both parents would really make an effort to pitch in,' she said.

Divorce was not a big deal. A lot of people were divorced but the attitude was different. People took sides. It was very simplistic. Friends would take a 'he is a devil, she is an angel' stance without really thinking.

The issue of men having access to their children was very much in the news. It was supposed to be a study of the complex psychology and the tensions raised by divorce situations - from the point of view of the teenager.

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The cross-dressing theme was supposed to have been a 'vehicle for tackling issues', not the focus of the film. It is a staple for children's stories. Having dad dressed up as a nanny is a convenient way to raise certain issues.

It helps tackle painful topics like divorce from a safe vantage point,' she said. The first page of Madame Doubtfire, the book, acts as a health warning: We see sibling rivalry; we see injustice, unfairness and tears; we see divided loyalties.

To Mrs Fine this is kids' stuff. Try my adult books if you are looking for something truly bleak, she said.

Meanwhile, the children are increasingly taking on the roles of parents in a, it almost seems, parentless household. While Madame Doubtfire smokes on the balcony, it is the kids who apply their domestic talent, clean the house and cook the meals.

Whatever the social context, the children act more mature than their age suggests: their tactfulness and social IQ seems to far exceed that of their parents. It is no mistake that the precise ages of the three children are never revealed. The pedagogic intent here strikes the adult reader as unnecessarily overt.

Madame Doubtfire is not a comedy, although its simplistic plotline might suggest howling laughter. The comical potential of Daniel, the father, disguised as a highly eccentric, vast and hairy cleaning lady is intentionally not developed to bloom. The sad undertone of the complex everyday of the Hilliard family remains throughout the episodes. None of the family members are where they stand voluntarily, and all of them obviously have a hard time coping with the family-internal turmoil.

However, one minor detail in the novel bothered me throughout as improbable. By the time the novel begins, Miranda and Daniel have been divorced for months years even , during which time the situation has grown more and more unbearable for all parties concerned. Still, their problems and emotions would more aptly belong to the early phase of reacting to the circumstances than to what would be expected as a more "settled" and mature stage.

I would see a 'Madame Doubtfire' scene taking place somewhere during the first few months immediately following the separation when the parents still haven't learned to control their bitterness and anger, and have trouble with fitting the children in their reconstruction of a new life.

The truly great quality in Anne Fine's books is their ability to speak the unspeakable for us and engage us in a fruitful internal debate, with all our objections and remarks. For this reason, also, I didn't find the book misogynistic. While the two previous books by Anne Fine I have read never managed to make a full impact on me, Madame Doubtfire surely succeeded in reaching the core of things. My warmest recommendations, and thanks again for letting me read this!

I've seen the movie, I didn't know there was a book. I should have known though, so many books are made into movies. More in this Series. The Grey King Susan Cooper. Silver on the Tree Susan Cooper. The Complete Borrowers Mary Norton. Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian. Stig of the Dump Clive King.

Book Review of Madame Doubtfire

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Book of the Week: Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine

A Thief in the Village James Berry. Brendon Chase B. About the Author.

Anne Fine Anne Fine has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults. Sign up to the Penguin newsletter For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more. Please enter an email.Add your interests. Miranda comments that the house has never been run better. Not even in my dreams would I say this book is a comedy.

View 2 comments. Very enjoyable and fun book, but not as good as the movie with Robin Williams. Sort order. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Is the book based on the Mrs. What disturbed me most in the novel was the fact that even though Mr.

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