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Airs and Graces [Paperback]

Erica James
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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Book Description

May 1 2008
Ellen has been living on her own in a picturesque if damp cottage in Cheshire since her husband abandoned her to go and live with another woman in Provence. Having married once for love, she is now determined that the second time around it will be for money. Close at hand is Duncan, her not unattractive, and enticingly single, divorce lawyer...

But then two new people enter her life: Jo-Jo, a homeless girl several months pregnant, and Matthew, an artist who paints murals in country houses and who, on first meeting Ellen, openly criticises her for being mercenary and devious. But, as hostility gives way to friendship, Ellen realises that she has wavered off course from her original plan and has to remind herself very strongly indeed that Duncan is the man for her...

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Three engaging female protagonists at turning points in their lives animate James's (A Breath of Fresh Air) deftly plotted third novel. Events in this airy comedy of manners unroll over a period of six months in a small town in Cheshire, in northwest England. Ellen Jacobs, recently divorced from the husband who abandoned her to run off to the South of France with a younger woman, has been displaced from her comfortable home and upper-middle-class life. Living in a modestly refurbished cottage, she has started a business arranging dried flowers. Sustained by her older, rather eccentric friend Hermione, Ellen is determined not to marry for love again. Instead, she entertains hopes of a secure but dull second marriage to Duncan Carter, her prosperous divorce attorney. Enter young, pregnant and homeless Jo-Jo, who literally crosses Ellen's path as she begs for a handout on a Crantsford street. With little to spare for themselves, Ellen and Hermione take pity on the runaway, offering her food and shelter. Jo-Jo turns out to be domesticated and helpful and to have plenty of common sense; in fact, she becomes the catalyst who helps Ellen to decide between stolid Duncan and Hermione's attractive, artistic godson. Various complications and surprises keep the plot moving briskly.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Mild-mannered Ellen Jacobs has been leading a quiet life since her recent divorce. Saddled with soaring debts and a bruised self-image, she moves to a dilapidated cottage tucked away amid beautiful gardens in the English countryside. After establishing a successful business designing dried-flower arrangements, she is now determined to find safety and security--hopefully through marriage to Duncan, her wealthy and well-mannered divorce lawyer. The story develops around an odd assortment of friends, including Hermione, an eccentric older lady living nearby on her own rundown country estate, Hermione's godson, Matthew, a pensive artist (lightly characterized by a neighbor as "a bit Heathcliffy"), and Jo-Jo, a precocious runaway with family problems and an unplanned pregnancy to contend with. It is through this group that Ellen redevelops passion for her life, realizing her lasting need for simple companionship and love rather than the airs and graces of the local elite. With a surprisingly involved plotline and a large cast of interesting, likable, and well-developed characters, this is a thoroughly enjoyable novel. Catherine Sias --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always entertaining and delightful March 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Erica James has a way of telling a story which I keeps you wanting to read on. She paints a vivid picture of each character and brings each of here stories to a fun and happy ending. What more could you want for entertaining enjoyment?!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging July 6 2005
By Beverley Strong - Published on
When Ellen's husband leaves her for a younger woman after twenty years of marriage, she is at first quite shattered, even though her marriage was far from perfect with a husband who needed kinky sex. Soon however, she becomes reconciled to leaving her large, comfortable home and settles into a tiny cottage where she sets up a dried flower business which is a bit slow to get going. The attendant money worries make her dtermined to remarry for money and security, so when the local solicitor, wealthy and eligible Duncan, who took care of her divorce, shows an interest in her, she dismisses some niggling doubts and agrees to marry him. Hermione, her friend and neighbour, has grave doubts about such a marriage, hoping that her godson Matthew and Ellen might be right for each other. The two women befriend JoJo, a pregnant, teenaged runaway who proves to be a catalyst in both their lives and, along with various other characters, both amusing and dark, unfolds a pleasant and readable tale of village life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegantly written novel Aug. 27 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I enjoyed James' style of writing although it could be plain sometimes. The plot is very interesting, something that could happen to anyone (divorce, teenage mother, snobbish neighbors). It is one of those books you smile after you're done w/ the book. Definetely a good read!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Airs & Graces Jan. 31 2000
By Tracy Clark - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable read. Hermione, Ellen's qirky neighbor was thehighlight of the novel and was the most developed character. However,James could have done so much more with the teenage mother and Mattthew character. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this novel tremendously!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fun, fun! Aug. 21 2013
By María José García Ferrer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a great fun of Erica James and this book is no exception. I found it entertaining and enjoyable like all the others.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Airs & Graces Aug. 29 2000
By Loretta M. Adair - Published on
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It reminded me of a Rosamunde Pilcher book. Thumbs up!
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