Sometimes its nice to return to favourite authors if you’ve missed some of their earlier work. That is certainly the case with this Judy Astley written over ten years ago but still as fresh and fruity as ever. The characters and setting are very familiar ie mostly middle-aged and all very middle class but with shambolic and intriguing love lives.
This time the central theme is how Mel deals with life alone after her husband has run off with a younger woman and her teenage daughter has gone to university. Needless to say she is not left in peaceful isolation and before long a succession of visitors (some more welcome than others) are appearing to make up for her recently departed family. The results are predictably (and sometimes unpredictably) comic although sometimes laced with poignant undertones.
One of the other charms of this book is the interweaving of the popular culture of the time – Changing Rooms, Ground Force and Who Wants to be a Millionaire are all involved and even Nigel Slater gets a half page review of one of his books.
So, a great and easy read, equally suitable for a cold winters evening or for taking away to a tropical beach paradise!