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The Gatecrasher [Paperback]

Madeleine Wickham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 27 2008

The Secret Is Out!
Madeleine Wickham is Sophie Kinsella, and The Gatecrasher is just as delicious as her internationally bestselling Shopaholic series.  

Everything’s coming up roses for Fleur Daxeny, as she goes through more rich men than she does designer hats.  Beautiful and utterly irresistible, her success at crashing funerals to find wealthy men is remarkable. Fleur wastes no time in seducing her latest conquest, the handsome and rich widower Richard Favour. His children are caught up in a whirlwind as their father’s new girlfriend descends on the family estate. Fleur is not one to wear her heart on her Chanel sleeves, but she soon finds herself embracing Richard and his family. But just as Fleur contemplates jumping off the gold-digger train for good, a long-buried secret from her past threatens to destroy her new family.

Take a wild and marvelous ride with The Gatecrasher, whose clever, chic, and sassy style will leave you desperately wanting more wonderful Wickham!

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Money is safety, darling," the delightfully wicked funeral crasher Fleur Daxeny advises her 13-year-old daughter after an almost perfect execution of her best skill: swindling wealthy widowers. In this modern-day novel of manners, Wickham's lively prose needles the British upper class with a mixture of suspense and wit. Armed with a closet full of designer black suits, the daily obituaries and a face that never betrays her 40 years, Fleur invades the funerals of the wealthy, enchantingly rich, grieving new widowers in need of a shoulder to cry on. She attends the memorial service of Emily Favour, whom she pretends was a long-lost acquaintance, and promptly lures the good-hearted Richard Favour into her web. Although his troubled daughter, Phillipa, and her crafty husband, Lambert, suspect serious gold digging, Fleur's beauty and charm dazzle them, and soon she's invited to live at the family estate in Surrey. What Fleur finds there is a gate-crasher's dream--a welcoming family, an accessible Gold Card and, after some snooping, a bank account worth millions. Even when Fleur's daughter, Zara, whom Fleur has neglected to mention, arrives unexpectedly from boarding school, the Favours make no fuss, welcoming the teen into the fold. As Fleur and Zara become comfortable with country club life, Fleur learns that she's not the only one scheming for Richard's money, and that Richard might not be as gullible as she thinks. But with Zara finally enjoying the stability of a real home, can Fleur leave so easily this time? Wickham (Swimming Pool Sunday) creates memorable characters who are as unpredictable and multifaceted as they are stylish. While the quick wrapup misses a cue, this novel is still jolly fun. (May)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Fleur Daxeny is beautiful and sophisticated, with an appetite for comfort beyond her means. She also has a fine wardrobe of black designer dresses that she wears to the funerals of wealthy London women in hope of snaring their grieving husbands. Once captivated by her good looks and charm, these men provide her with money, a home, and an extravagant lifestyle for however long it takes her to stash a bit of cash and move on to the next. Such is the fate of Richard Favour. The ease with which Fleur moves into his life dazzles him. His late wife had been really rather dull, and everyone in his family seems to find Fleur most refreshing. But just as Richard proposes marriage, the unscrupulous Fleur gets bored and begins reading obituaries again. This is an often witty and deeply biting novel of modern manners and morals. Wickham's (Tennis Party) characters move with the studied grace of Jane Austen's upper class, and her plot is perfect for a made-for-TV movie. Readers will be both touched and entertained. Recommended for all public libraries.DSusan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Fleur Daxeny wrinkled her nose. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Sophie Kinsella/Madeline Wickham Nov. 23 2012
By Erin
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this author - no matter what name she goes by (Sophie Kinsella or Madeline Wickham)!
This book is one of my favourites! Much better than the Shopaholic series in my opinion (I find Becky really annoying). The plot line is really original and really fun. I also love "40 Love". If you like "The Gatecrasher" you will like/love "40 Love" too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars complex, no clear-cut villain or good-guys Feb. 24 2003
By momazon
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A glamorous fortysomething woman with the improbable name of Fleur Daxeny is a gatecrasher -- she attends the funerals and memorial services in search of potentially wealthy widowers, claiming to be a friend of the late wife. She then makes the man fall in love with her and takes just enough money so he is humiliated but can recoup his loss without charging her as a criminal. By that time, she's long gone.
Fleur meets Richard Favour this way, but she actually starts to fall in love. Richard, in turn, starts to love Fleur as does his entire extended family. In light of Fleur and her teenaged daughter Zara (who is upset with her mother's con-artist ways), the family starts to let Richard know that Emily, his late wife, was never really all that perfect.
The storyline I liked most was that of Philippa, Richard's adult daughter, and her mercenary nasty husband, Lambert. It turns out Emily had a hand in her daughter's low self-esteem and subsequent acceptance of Lambert's proposal years ago.
There are no real good guys or villains in this, and you are left a bit dissatisfied at all the loose ends, but it is still a compelling tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Wickham Read Jan. 31 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fleur Daxeny is a funeral crasher - she's a con artist who preys on recent wealthy widowers and makes off with some of their money. Her most recent victim is Richard Favour whose wife Emily has just died. However, what she doesn't count on is that Richard and his family may change her just as much as she changes them.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and the just over 300 pages seemed to turn themselves. While I felt that Fleur's past was perhaps a little glossed over and could have been brought out more and that there was some foreshadowing that's denouement fell a bit flat, I felt that overall this was a great read. I will definitely be reading more of Ms. Wickham's work!
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By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
I was disappointed by this book, especially with knowing that Madeline Wickham is Sophie Kinsella. Possibly just having read Twenties Girl, which I absolutely loved, didn't help matters, but The Gatecrasher just didn't live up to my expectations. This is chick lit with multiple characters from their different points of view and has none of the humour I have come to expect from great chick lit.

It started well enough. The premise was interesting and I had no complaints about the writing style or that it was different points of view (which she did brilliantly). But I found that as I was getting to know the characters, I just wasn't really interested. I didn't find much emotion, the characters seemed two dimensional to me and the plot wasn't terribly interesting. I feel like I'll forget most of this one. I didn't hate it, but definitely didn't love it.

I'm looking forward to reading another Madeline Wickham novel soon to see if it was just this book that I'm disappointed in.
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2.0 out of 5 stars OK, NOT GREAT May 11 2011
By Andrya
Ok book. Took me a bit to get into it. I bought this for a $5.00 bargain buy at chapters. Kinsella other name she writes under is this,(Madeleine WIckham) for those of you who didn't know. I like her kinsella books better (Shopoholic Series, Remember Me) Those are more funny, these Madeleine Wickham books are more serious based, but they are still good :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Have a good time reading it. July 25 2008
By Bella
I am not a big fan of chic-lit, for a change I look for lighter read.
this book's idea interested me so I gave it a try.
I couldn't put it down, it is pretty fun to read and don't have to worry too much thinking.
It's funny, it's human, and I can see this become a movie. One thing disappointed me was
the ending. It just suddenly cut off? The way everything lay out, I was waiting for a twist or
a more detail ending but it was end and make you sort of guess what is really going to happen in the long term.
But overall, it is really worth it. I like it. I have read many other chic-lit books also but often couldn't finish
because it was too shallow but this author is one of the the top in this kind that make the story very interesting and keep you reading till the end. Good writing and it is indeed a good read for me.
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