Snobs by Julian Fellowes
As an American born in the 1980s, Snobs is not as accessible as Downtown Abbey. Set in the 1990s, I’m a bit young to understand the British climate and a few of the cultural references lack gravity for me. (I’m not so familiar with the older members of the British royal family.) Still, the story’s issue are relevant today. What girl from a middle class family hasn’t wondered about becoming a part of a titled family–marrying a Lord, having an English estate complete with maids, a BBC filming crew (for a period movie, naturally), and quirky “society” friends? Despite flaws, the novel delivers some great comedic zingers a la Lady Grantham. My favorites, include “Leave three Englishmen in a room and they will invent a rule that prevents a fourth joining them” and ” “The longer one knows people the less relevant it becomes whether or not one liked them initially.”
A good read, but best saved for a rainy day with a lot of alone time. Don’t take this one to the beach!
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Southern. A touch of magic. Romance. Humor. SOUTHERN. I’m from a small town in Georgia, and I’m a sucker for all books Southern. My hometown is better than Bald Slope, North Carolina, the setting for Sarah Addison Allen’s sweet tale of love, loss, and forgiveness. With every chapter named for a different candy, however, this book is hard not to bite in and enjoy. Like a store bought candy, however, it’s better not to think to much about it. Accept the story for the fluffy delight that it is (slightly predictable) and you will laugh and swoon along with the characters. Perfect for a day when you need some positivity!
Finishing Touches by Hester Browne
“Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge.”
With that quote, you know why I loved this British book by the author of the Little Lady Agency series. I love modern etiquette. In a story about modern day finishing school, the book raises wonderful questions of modern etiquette. I for one, am a HUGE proponent for modern etiquette. I wish I could teach a class on it! This book made me laugh and kept me up late turning pages. Can proper manners survive the current day? How can you be a lady in this day and age? Well, you can! And it was sure fun watching Browne’s heroine try to save the day–and herself–in this tale. Add a touch of romance and it’s perfect! Plus, the book contains great nuggets of practical advice. For example, I save the little bags you get with the make-up bonuses at department stores. What do I use them for? Keeping things in separate compartments in my big handbag to keep things organized. The heroine of The Finishing Touches keeps her purse organized the EXACT same way. I think that’s a sign of a smart book!
To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell