Janey Godley's debut novel to be published this autumn

ExclusiveTuesday 4th January 2022, 2:16pm by Jay Richardson

  • Nothing Left Unsaid - Janey Godley's first novel - is set to be published in September
  • The plot focuses on a woman who is forced to re-evaluate her life after reading her dying mother's diary
  • Godley, who is due to have surgery for ovarian cancer on Thursday, said "I want to thank everyone for so much love"
Janey Godley

Janey Godley's debut novel is about a dying Glaswegian woman and survival of abuse, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Nothing Left Unsaid will be published on September 1st by Hodder & Stoughton, who put out Graham Norton's first novel, Holding.

It is the third book by Godley, who is undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer on Thursday, following the Glaswegian stand-up's 2005 memoir Handstands In The Dark and 2020's Frank Get The Door!, a spin-off of her popular videos overdubbing Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's coronavirus briefings.

Like Godley, who became a comic at 35, having run a pub in the working-class Glaswegian area of the Calton and married into a gangster family, Senga, the main character in Nothing Left Unsaid, lived in Shettleston in the east end of the city.

In 2019, her daughter, Sharon, rushes home when Senga is admitted to hospital, her life coming to an end. As family and friends gather to say goodbye, Senga instructs Sharon to find and read the diary she kept during the 1970s when she lived in a Shettleston tenement flat.

The diary proves both "shocking and surprising", forcing Sharon to re-evaluate her childhood, marriage and future. Life in the tenements had been "a daily struggle.

"You need your wits about you to survive, and your friends. Senga has both in spades: she is part of the Shettleston 'menage' alongside her friends Bunty, Sandra, Philomena and Isa, and whatever life hands to them - cheating husbands, poverty, illness, threat and abuse - they throw something back just a hard. These women are strong because they need to be. And they never, ever walk away in times of crisis - as Sharon is about to find out."

Godley, whose daughter is fellow stand-up comic Ashley Storrie, star of last year's BBC Three sitcom pilot Dinosaur, recounted in Handstands In The Dark how she was raised by alcoholic parents, sexually abused as a child by her maternal uncle and believed that her mother was murdered by a violent boyfriend, who was never charged by the police despite her family's protestations.

Nothing Left Unsaid may not be the only book Godley publishes this year. She has also written Honey and Janey: You've Been Telt!, a collection of "illustrated thoughts and pictures", as if from her sausage dog Honey, based on more of her voice-over videos.

Originally set to go on sale last year, the book is now also scheduled for a September release from Luath Press, publishers of Frank Get The Door!

Godley broke the news of her cancer diagnosis on social media in November, revealing that she had "done nothing but cry and cry and cry".

However, today she posted an upbeat update, writing: "Today is all about getting packed up for hospital - surgery on Thursday morning, then focussing on recovery and what ever comes next."

And she added: "I want to thank everyone for so much love - I will go into that operation on Thursday with a heart full of support, knowing that you and My family are all cheering for me - I am not so scared just ... well you know slightly shoogly thinking about it, but thanks."

Godley's profile grew massively over lockdown with her parodies of Sturgeon's coronavirus briefings.

She also featured in Scottish government coronavirus adverts. But they were pulled after past offensive tweets she had posted were unearthed - and she donated the £12,000 fee she had been paid to charity.

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