Or because your size jeans are a tight fit? Or because you're going to Lyme Regis for your summer holiday while your friends are off to the Caribbean? If you constantly compare yourself with other people, and come off worse in the comparisons, then you will find a soul-mate in Harriet. Her Pooterish self-pity is beautifully skewered; and because it is a self-pity felt by millions, it is easy to identify with the character, if not to like her.
If Cristina Odone had stuck to what she does best - sharply observed social satire, backed up by crisp dialogue - the novel as a whole would have packed more of a punch. Unfortunately, she gets side-tracked into one of those two-a-penny yarns about adultery. Should Harriet remain faithful to her husband, Guy - decent but dull, inclined to ignore her - or have a fling with her ex-boyfriend James - sexy, successful, attentive to her every need?
Personally, I wanted her to have the fling, if only to stop herself worrying about the school fees and how to pay the au pair. But Odone, as befits a former editor of The Catholic Herald, keeps her heroine on a tight sexual leash. The book is an accomplished light read which holds the mirror up to our trivial, status-obsessed age. Love puzzles? Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill's life.
This book tells the story of the men and women of Fighter Command who worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout Britain to thwart the Nazis. Already a member? Log in. Already a subscriber or registered access user? Subscription Notification. We have noticed that there is an issue with your subscription billing details. Please update your billing details here. Please update your billing information.
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