smiled. “Maybe you’d better change out of your wellies
before you go to Paris.”’
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
is a hugely entertaining book by a gifted storyteller with exceptional
perception. An absolute must!"
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.
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.
result is a charming and entertaining read."
Profile : Susie Vereker
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.
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.
life has been one of challenge and adaptation to different countries
and customs, and this has been the inspiration for her first novel.
by this Author
Old Fashioned Arrangement
by Susie Vereker
ISBN 1-905175-06X Price £7.99
THE FIRST CHAPTER HERE
smiled mischievously. 'Of course one admires a serious woman but
so much good responsible behaviour must be rather depressing.'
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.
wicked old Henri makes a practical proposition. What would you do
if you were Kim? How would you cope with the extraordinary dilemmas
for An Old Fashioned Arrangement
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.
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.
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."
"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."
Lane and Paris was nominated for the RNA/Foster Grant Award 2005.