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Airs and Graces Paperback – May 1 2008
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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.
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.See all Product Description