In 1930s France, a free-spirited mother undertakes to derail her very proper daughter's engagement
Julia Packett has barely laid eyes on her daughter, Susan, since leaving her with her well-heeled in-laws following the loss of her husband in World War I. Now thirty-seven, Julia's lack of prospects hasn't dimmed her spirit or her appetite for life. But when Susan asks her to come to France for the summer to persuade her grandmother to allow her to marry, she sets sail with the noblest intentions of acting the paragon of motherhood.
At her mother-in-law's vacation villa in Haute Savoie, however, Julia sees that her priggish but lovely daughter is completely mismatched with a man much more suited to herself: a charming, clever playboy. The arrival of Susan's legal guardian, the distinguished Sir William Waring, further complicates the situation.
Soon Julia's efforts to pass herself off as a lady and secure her daughter's happiness spin out of control, leading to romantic entanglements and madcap adventures that will challenge preconceived notions about the ultimate compatibility of any two people who fall in love.
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Margery Sharp is renowned for her sparkling wit and insight into human nature, both of which are liberally displayed in her critically acclaimed social comedies of class and manners. Born in Yorkshire, England, Sharp wrote pieces for Punch magazine after attending college and art school. In 1930, she published her first novel, Rhododendron Pie, and in 1938, married Maj. Geoffrey Castle. Sharp wrote twenty-six novels, three of which-Britannia Mews, Cluny Brown, and The Nutmeg Tree-were made into feature films, and fourteen children's books, including The Rescuers, which was adapted into two Disney animated films.
"This book contains one of the most appealing, warm-hearted, good wenches anyone has met, in the flesh or in print or on the screen. . . . Every chapter of [Sharp's] novel is eloquent of her inventiveness and her accurate sense of entertainment." -New York Herald Tribune
"Original, subtle, and consistently entertaining." -Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Margery Sharp
"Sharp has a touch all her own when it comes to taking on social class, sex and its consequences, and the changes that the 20th century brought to both those arenas, most especially for women. She remained, always, both polite and biting, looking at the intoxications and delusions of life and love with wit and clear-eyed sympathy." -The New York Times
"One of the most gifted writers of comedy in the civilized world today." -Chicago Daily News
"Highly gifted . . . a wonderful entertainer." -The New Yorker
"[Sharp's] dialogue is brilliant, uncannily true. . . . She is an excellent storyteller." -Elizabeth Bowen
"It is as natural for Miss Sharp to be witty as for a brook trout to have spots." -The Saturday Review of Literature
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