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Quite Honestly Hardcover – March 23, 2006
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
The indomitable Mortimer (Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders, etc.) is back with a new cast of quixotic characters. Lucinda Purefoy (Lucy), daughter of a liberal Anglican bishop and his gin-soaked wife, graduates from university with a hankering to repay her debt to society, so she joins SCRAP (Social Carers, Reformers and Praeceptors), a volunteer organization that pairs a do-gooder with a done-badder on release from prison. The idea is to ease the ex-con's transition into society. Or, as Lucy introduces herself to her "client" Terry Keegan, "I'm your guide and philosopher." Keegan, a young man from the wrong side of Ladbroke Grove, started pinching bottles of whiskey with his schoolmate Chippy when he was 12; now he's getting out of the big house after doing three years for breaking and entering. He knows his transition would be much easier without the likes of Lucy and sets out to lose her at the first opportunity. Complications ensue, especially when Chippy (now Leonard) McGrath, who has established a false front as an environmentally concerned businessman to disguise his thriving crime organization, enters the scene. Told in a nimble he-said, she-said format, the narrative cartwheels across all that is sanctimonious about prison reform for a delectable undoing of do-gooders. (Mar. 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Novelist, playwright, and former barrister Mortimer departs from his hugely popular Rumpole series in this lively romp revolving around love and the criminal mind. Life is grand for Lucinda ("call me Lucy") Purefoy, who, equipped with a university degree, a dashing boyfriend, and the prospect of a lucrative job in advertising, thinks it's time to give something back to the world that has afforded her so much. She joins Social Carers, Reformers, and Praeceptors (best known by its dubious acronym, SCRAP), an organization that links high-minded women with lowly ex-cons. The first meeting between Lucy and her charge, Terry Keegan, doesn't go well; the curly-haired burglar greets her generosity with an ungrateful glare and then demands a trip to Burger King, where he downs one Whopper after another. But as time passes, the two have an unexpected effect on one another--for better and worse. Endearingly eccentric characters are Mortimer's cachet. Among them: reprobates "Screwtop" Parkinson and "Chippy" McGrath, who maintain the illusion of moral propriety through a succession of lucrative heists; Lucy's father, a beatific bishop who dispenses treacly truisms; and her feckless mother, more inclined to gin and tonics than chapter and verse. Quite Honestly is great fun from page 1--honestly. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I strongly recommend this delightfully daffy meditation on crime and virtue.
There is a tendency when reading a noted author to focus only on the best-known works. In this case such a limitation would be a mistake. This novel is a touching, humorous, and all too human account of how complicated life can be. I liked it better than the Rumple books because it is less of a formula work. The plot twists and turns and the ending is both realistic and hopeful without being trite. The book provides the added benefit of some very British language!