“Another d-mn’d thick, square book. Always scribble, scribble, scribble, Eh,
Then comes story number two, where she falls in love with the crumbling (think Troubles), rundown old house and most of its eccentric inhabitants. Bobbie had previously worked for an auction house, has an eye for beautiful things and is energetic and can do compared with her Irish employers. In no time at all she’s putting the house and gardens to rights. To my mind the whole balance of the book is upset by the introduction of a third thread, about the Troubles (it’s 1979). I could hardly read this without rage and I feel firstly that it has no place in a social comedy (although very relevant to the characters) and secondly that it takes a more serious writer than Victoria Clayton to manage successfully.
Luckily, there was enough detail about houses, furniture and gardening to keep my interest to the end and there’s even a walk-on part for Harriet Byng from Clouds Among the Stars.