I've really enjoyed the Anne Fine books I've read in the past. Doubtfire is an absolute charmer. The first pages are a tutorial in how to introduce several characters rapidly AND quickly establish their personalities AND how to make sympathetic a character who maybe shouldn't be sympathetic. (Really, a father who, in front of his children, pretends to make a noose to hang his ex-wife or who tells the children "Sometimes I think I could cheerfully slit her throat!" by all rights should not be so delightful and charming. Reminds me of how Hornby pulled off a similar trick with the character Will in About a Boy.) The dialogue is quirky, humorous and contains those wonderful turns-of-phrase that the English seem to do so well. Never saw the movie, but I think it shifts everything to America. Pity.