Pond Lane and Paris by Susie Vereker

ISBN 1-905175-06X Price £7.99

Available June 2005

Read an extract from the book here.

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‘Jack smiled. “Maybe you’d better change out of your wellies before you go to Paris.”’

Synopsis

After faithfully nursing her invalid husband for eight years, the widow Laura Brooke is hesitantly emerging into the world. She finds a job with Oliver Farringdon, Ambassador to an international organisation in Paris – he’s divorced and needs someone to supervise his teenage daughter. But can Laura cope with her demanding employer and with Paris after her solitary celibate life in the depths of the country?

Leaving the Hampshire mud to live amongst chic Parisians is a culture shock. Laura’s position in the ambassadorial household is tricky and the servants resent her. Besides, keeping tabs on Charlotte isn’t easy. Oliver has strict views about daughters, as well as everything else.

Jane Eyre meets Nancy Mitford in this story of life and love in two countries. During her time in Paris impulsive, over-conscientious Laura comes to realise that adversity has made her a stronger person.

Reviews

"When recently widowed Laura Brooke is offered a job in Paris as 'a sort of lady-watchdog', looking after Charlotte, the teenage daughter of senior British diplomat, Oliver Farringdon, the scene is clearly set for a love match. We recognise an echo of Jane Eyre: Oliver is handsome and austere, and Laura has never aspired to Parisian chic. But even after the
distinguished ambassador comes to appreciate Laura's quiet competence, taste and good sense - as we knew he must - this is no fairytale.

Susie Vereker has assembled a cast of engaging characters and writes with an assured touch. Laura's Hampshire friends, Jack and Melanie, are vividly portrayed and we care about their unhappiness. Charlotte's teenage self-absorption is exposed with humour and sensitivity and wins our sympathetic understanding. ..... a wickedly amusing insight into diplomatic life, revealed in witty dialogue, telling episodes and a memorable cast. The ingratiating butler, Sebastien, who disapproves of Laura and tries to undermine her position in the household, is almost worthy of a novel in his own right.

This is a hugely entertaining book by a gifted storyteller with exceptional perception. An absolute must!"

Carousel Magazine

"The captivating story unfold not only in Laura's beloved Pond Lane, somewhere in Hampshire, but flits between there and the chic diplomatic life in Paris where she finds a job and much more. .......At last a book that acknowledges that life doesn't end at 40. It is a book for mature women tired of reading of romances between twenty and thirty somethings who live in Islington.

Instead you have the coming to terms with independence after years of nursing and sick husband and the down-to-earth practicalities of being torn between two men when you're a mother and a widow of a certain age. Are you ever too old for 'truly madly deeply', that's the question the heroine asks herself about half way through the book and eventually, after twists and turns, she finds the answer.

.....The result is a charming and entertaining read."

Post Gazette

Author Profile : Susie Vereker

Born in the Lake District, Susie Vereker has spent much of her life travelling round the world, first as an army officer’s daughter then as a diplomat’s wife. She worked in publishing in London, au paired in Germany, typed in Aden, taught English in Surrey, and raised her three sons in Australia, Greece, Thailand, Switzerland and France. In the nineties Susie lived in Paris when her late husband was British Ambassador to OECD. Widowed in 2001after a long happy marriage, she now lives in a Hampshire village that’s been home – between postings abroad – for over twenty years.

Caught between her conventional upbringing, the duties of a diplomatic wife and the aspirations of the modern woman, Susie has led something of a chameleon existence. In Australia she was a sportswoman and young mother, in Greece a welfare worker and dabbler in archaeology, in Thailand a fund-raiser, in Geneva a magazine editor/journalist, and in Paris she concentrated on art history and writing. This is her first published novel.

Susie’s life has been one of challenge and adaptation to different countries and customs, and this has been the inspiration for her first novel.

Also by this Author

An Old Fashioned Arrangement by Susie Vereker

ISBN 1-905175-06X Price £7.99

Available September 2006

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER HERE

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Henri smiled mischievously. 'Of course one admires a serious woman but so much good responsible behaviour must be rather depressing.'

Synopsis

Set in Geneva, a rich and gripping story of love and relationships, nicely seasoned with a touch of suspense.

Kim is suddenly adrift in an expensive foreign city with a child to support. She's been trailing dutifully around the world with her unreliable husband Richard, ex army officer turned international businessman, but early one morning he is reported killed in a plane crash in the Indonesian jungle. His shady employers insist she must leave the company-rented house within a month and, with no home in England, she finds herself destitute.

Then wicked old Henri makes a practical proposition. What would you do if you were Kim? How would you cope with the extraordinary dilemmas she faces?

Reviews for An Old Fashioned Arrangement

"AN OLD-FASHIONED ARRANGEMENT follows the heroine through her unique trials and tribulations……You are quickly and smoothly swept along with her story. She may have started off gullible, but she soon prove she’s made of stern stuff after all. I don’t know how many of us could make the decisions she makes.

Susie Vereker writes easily and simply and her books are difficult to put down. There is no violence, no steamy sex scenes, well, almost none (and sex does play a large part in this “old-fashioned arrangement”) But her characters are real.

Here you have a heroine who could live next door….penniless in a foreign country, what are her options? Well, one is that “arrangement”. For a respectable woman it’s a difficult choice and one that could and will change her life."

Post Gazette


"Imagine being left virtually penniless in Geneva. Where can Kim turn to for help? An unexpected proposition from her Swiss landlord is follow by an encounter with a British diplomat who she hopes may be able to find of what happened to her husband. A sensible tweedy English friend, a sinister representative of her husband’s company, a rather flashy American health freak, all come into the story. This is a great page-turning read, full of character, romance, culture shock and humour that will appeal of all of us."

The Courier

Nominations & Prizes

Pond Lane and Paris was nominated for the RNA/Foster Grant Award 2005.

Publishing Consultant

 

 

 
 

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