My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am so irritated by this book!
First off, the book cover and book description makes you think it's going to be some light-hearted, chick-lit esque novel about a Mary Poppins/Maria Von Trapp character teaching an uptight family to be less, well, uptight.
It isn't; it has a lot more edge to it than that - which should come as no surprise to anyone who has read one of French's previous novels or watched any of her comedy (stuff she's done with Jennifer Saunders rather than Vicar of Dibley).
Why do publishers have this obsession with marketing a work by a female author that isn't literary fiction as chick lit? Why can't just be marketed as a novel? Like books by male authors are?
Mind you, the second thing that really annoyed me about this novel is that French lacks the courage of her convictions to continue with the edgier stuff until the end. She raises a few issues but then conveniently overcomes them. I think it would be much more interesting if the pitfalls of the "saying yes to everything" philosophy of Rosie Kitto, the book's heroine, were highlighted to a greater extent. There are several events that occur as a direct result of this philosophy that in real life would not play out as smoothly as they do in the book.
One can only hope in later novels, French is tad a braver and lets her books end more messily than this one does.
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