Getting an au pair is supposed to make one’s life easier but is that always the case. In Janey Fraser’s latest book. The Au Pair, most seem to be more trouble than they are worth. This is especially true for Jilly who has just started running her own agency and who can’t quite decide who causes her the most headaches – the au pair or the family she places them with. It is all these problems that help to make this such and entertaining and enjoyable read and one that I would heartily recommend.
When Jilly’s husband is demoted at work, she decides that she needs to do something to help with the family finances. After talking to her friend, Paula, she realises that there is a good market for trusty and dependable au pairs, especially in the town of Corrywood, where she lives. She sets out to run a local small agency where she can form personal relationships with the clients and their au pairs. After all, it couldn’t be that difficult, could it? As you can imagine though, it does not take long before Jilly realises that running the agency is full of problems. There are clients complaining about the girls that she has placed with them and an equal number of au pairs complaining about their families. The au pairs stay out late, neglect their small charges and hardly lift a finger about the homes. On the other hand there are complaints about being overworked and in one case, a father who walks about the house naked!
Although most of the book is very funny, there are some more poignant stories as well. There’s Matthew, a widower, who is struggling to bring up his small daughter Lottie on his own. Matters are not helped by the fact that she is determined to see off all of the au pairs that he employs to help them. Then there’s Marie-France who has her own personal reasons for coming to Corrywood as an au pair. Both these story lines are moving and riveting.
The Au Pair is a great book that held my attention from start to finish. It’s quite long at just under six hundred pages but each page is as good as the last as they move between the different stories and the wonderfully engaging characters. I really enjoyed reading this book and I was quite disappointed when I came to the end.
The Au Pair is only the second book from Janey Fraser and is set in the same small town as her first book, ‘The Playgroup’ and reference is made to some of the same characters. You do not have to have read ‘The Playgroup’ though in order to thoroughly enjoy The Au Pair which is a very warm and funny read.
Although this is only Janey Fraser’s second book, her style may be a bit familiar as she has previously written books under the name of Sophie King. These include books such as ‘The School Run’ and ‘Mums@Home’. If you enjoyed these, you will definitely enjoy The Au Pair which is an incredibly enjoyable book.
The Au Pair by Janey Fraser
Published by Arrow Books, August 2012
With thanks to the publisher for sending a review copy.
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