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Fforde's First Was Her Best
on August 16, 2004
It's hard to compare Katie Fforde books, because they are ALL so absolutely delightful, something like a delicate sherbet after a meal of lambchops!
But "The Rose Revived," which was the book that catapulted her to fame, is just wonderful. Highly reminiscent of one of her later books, Life Skills (which I guess cannot be called reminiscent, since it came several years later), this is the story of a cheeky girl named May who lives on a canal boat. Feisty, self-sufficient and used to a bit of hardship, May is now facing true disaster: She has lost her job and her nasty mooring master(something like a landlord) is threatening to sell her boat's mooring berth out from under her if she does not come up with the considerable debt she owes to him.
Fast forward to a nasty man dubbed Slimeball, who offers May and two equally desperate young women--Sally, an out-of-work actress, and Harriet, a single mother in danger of losing custody of her son, jobs as a house cleaners for his agency. The women take the job--even though nobody but Harriet has ever truly cleaned a house. A wild and woolly adventure begins.
Will Slimeball pocket all the women's hard-earned profits? Will Harriet become a famous artist, keep her son, and incidentally make her sexy art teacher notice her? Will May keep her beloved boat, The Rose Revived? And what of Sally, who, up until now, has relied only on her beauty and stick insect body to make her way in the world?
I defy anybody to read this book without breaking out into huge smiles. This is the type of book where, when you reach the last page, you emit a huge sigh and then read the last chapter all over again just to keep from ending it.