Mama Tandoori by Ernest Van Der Kwast (Scribe, £7.99)
Memoir, fiction or autobiographical novel? Whichever, it’s based on the author’s Netherlands childhood under the gaze of a larger-than-life mother, Veena, a nurse who came from India, married a Dutch doctor and became an indomitable matriarch. She’s not shy about enforcing her rule if she deems it necessary, such as when son Johann brings home a Muslim girl or Ernest declares his intention to be a writer. So devoted is she to her mentally-challenged eldest son, she sends him to faith healers hoping he might become a doctor or lawyer, while ignoring the achievements of her other sons. A series of amusing set-pieces, tinged with the kind of poignancy that comes from finding the humour in incidents that must have hurt deeply at the time.