Saturday, 25 August 2012

Book Review - The Au Pair by Janey Fraser

Title - The Au Pair

Author - Janey Fraser

Publisher - Arrow Books

ISBN - 978 0 099 5818-7

Format - Paperback
e-book also available

Available from:-
Amazon UK | Waterstones | Barnes and Noble | Amazon


Apparently anyone can set up an Au pair agency. So when money gets tight, Jilly does exactly that. But she hadn't reckoned on Marie-France, a sparky French girl, signing up in the hope of finding her father, twenty years after her own mother had been an Au pair in the same town.
Then there's Matthew, a confused widower, whose daughter has driven away a string of Au pairs. Can Jilly ever find him the perfect match?

And lets not forget the rest of the Au pair mafia, including Heidi, Fatima and Antoinette, who "likes children but not very much".

My review
This wouldn't normally have been my genre of choice, but this book has now definitely changed all of that. I absolutely loved it!

The story is about Jilly, who sets up an Au pair agency, and tries, sometimes unsuccessfully, to fit work in around her family life.

What I loved about this book was the amount of characters that were in it and how with the authors perfect descriptive writing, had made them such vibrant characters, all with their own tale to tell.

They were of varying nationalities, which led to some amusing moments when they were talking about their life in England, and often came up with words that were lost in translation. Such as one Au pair talking about how the mother in her family was on the "Cab Itch" diet.

The book had amusing parts throughout and I loved the sections interspersed between the chapters, where there were tips for Au pairs and their families in "Jillies Au Pair Agency : Guidelines for Au Pairs and Families". Explaining the meaning of phrases like "Not on your Nellie" "Egg on your Face" and other such phrases.

The storyline throughout the whole 582 pages takes you through several feelings of amusement;sadness;worry. Most of all this book is very fulfilling. I really didn't want it to end, as I had connected with so many of the characters as if I knew them personally.

At the end of the book, you're not left wondering about any of the characters involved and how their lives evolve, as the author finishes it with a series of newspaper cuttings, e-mails and postcards.

This is definitely a keeper for me and is a great holiday read. One of the best books I've read in a long time and I thoroughly recommend it.

I'm off now to by more books from this author.

This book was given to me by Random House Publishers, in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my review and the words and thoughts are all my own.


Janey Fraser is the pen name for journalist Jane Bidder who also writes as Sophie King. You might have read some of my previous novels such as THE SCHOOL RUN and THE WEDDING PARTY which was short listed for Love Story of the Year 2010.
For many years, I was a journalist on women’s magazines and until recently, edited the family page of Woman. Now I write ‘ MUM LIT’ novels about the ups and downs of family life.
I have plenty of experience with my own three – remind me to tell you, one day, about the time that my youngest gave his friend a pudding-basin haircut while my back was turned for three minutes or when my eldest bashed me on the head with an empty lemonade bottle while driving because of an over-heated car game.
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Author interview to follow