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3.7 21
by Carrie Adams

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There's nothing tying her down . . . but maybe that's the problem.

Back from a five-week escape from her obsessive former boss (read: job over, phone number changed, doorman notified), Tessa King returns to London rested and ready to reclaim her life. She has endless possibilities, and a full social calendar with wonderful


There's nothing tying her down . . . but maybe that's the problem.

Back from a five-week escape from her obsessive former boss (read: job over, phone number changed, doorman notified), Tessa King returns to London rested and ready to reclaim her life. She has endless possibilities, and a full social calendar with wonderful friends and godchildren who adore her.

But as Tessa begins to look at all their lives, she questions whether having a family can actually guarantee happiness: Helen and Neil, parents to twin boys, are in a seemingly perfect marriage, though it hides dark and twisted secrets. Single mother Billy struggles to make ends meet and can't get over a man who doesn't want her. Happily married Francesca and Nick endeavor to guide their headstrong teenage son. Claudia and Al have everything they need to create the perfect loving family—except a baby. And then there's Ben: best friend, loyal confidant, willing drinking partner, and Tessa's everything—but also Sasha's husband.

Heartwarming, dark, funny, and almost too true to bear, Carrie Adams's extraordinary debut novel speaks to anyone who has wondered about the next step. It reminds us that the challenge in life is to find a direction that is truly our own, and that some fairy tales just aren't fair.

Editorial Reviews

Marie Claire (UK)
“A lively fusion of chick lit and mummy lit . . . great.”
In Style UK
“Carrie Adams eschews the traditional happy-ever-after in this witty and realistic take on modern life.”
Good Housekeeping
“A punchily written page-turner.”
Adriana Trigiani
“Book clubs rejoice! We’ve got a winner! ...brilliant, funny, and human ...I loved it.”
Publishers Weekly

While 30-something Londoner Tessa King questions her no-strings-attached lifestyle, she also witnesses her friends' difficulties in marriage and parenthood while playing godmother to their broods. Nick and Francesca battle to keep their sullen teenager out of serious trouble; Billy, a single mom, can't break ties to her now remarried ex-; Helen and Neil, fairy tale parents to twin boys, are hiding something; successful Claudia and Al struggle to conceive; and Ben and Sasha have no plans to have children. But Ben also happens to be Tessa's best friend, and perhaps the love of her life. When tragedy eventually strikes the group, bonds are tested, and Tessa is forced to re-examine what she thinks will really make her happy. A painful look into the fears, doubts and desires that make and break marriages, this debut novel from Londoner Adams is notches up from the usual chick and mom lit fare. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Tessa King is godmother to four children but desperately wants to be married and have her own family. At least she thinks she does. She's really not sure whether she's ready to give up a swinging London social life full of one-night stands, and, anyway, the man she's been in love with since they were teens is already married. And when she takes a careful look around at her married friends, Tessa begins to see that they aren't living such perfect lives: Neil cheats on Helen, who is exhausted from having twins; Fran and Nick's teenage son is doing drugs; Claudia and Al have lost another pregnancy; and single mom Billy struggles desperately to make ends meet. But when tragedy strikes the group of friends, Tessa gets the chance at what she might want most. This heavy-handed British soap opera is overstuffed with too many characters and overdramatic subplots yet remains unsatisfying. For larger public libraries where British women's fiction is popular.
—Rebecca Vnuk

Kirkus Reviews
A perky debut considers whether a Londoner's life of drinking, clubbing and one-night stands is more enviable than her friends' bumpy marriages and parenting woes. Tessa King is single, blonde, gorgeous and popular, although finding dates is getting harder as she doesn't "do married men." Her group of friends is important to her, and she is godmother to most of their children, including Francesca's 16-year-old son Caspar, whom she tries to discourage from his flirtation with drugs. Then there's privileged Helen, who still needs propping up in her struggles with her new-born twins, post-natal depression and a jerk of a husband; and Billy, whose ex-partner is being dishonest about child support. One of Tessa's oldest friends is Ben (now married to Sasha), whom she's known since they were teenagers. Ben doesn't have children but Tessa wishes he did, and with her, except that she is fond of Sasha too and has no wish to break up their happy marriage. Instead, Tessa turns to a new admirer, James King, until she learns he has a wife and two children. When Helen and her husband are killed in a car accident, Tessa has to fight Helen's unpleasant mother over custody of the twins and is forced to confront her own role in her friends' lives. She confesses her feelings to Ben and he declares his love for her too, but eventually Tessa does the right thing and turns him down. Having found a good home for the twins, she resumes her life of work and godmothering-and maybe getting back together with James, who turns out to be separated after all. Unusually child-centered for chick-lit-and considerably too long-but engaging enough.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Carrie Adams is the author of The Godmother, which is being adapted for film. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

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Godmother 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took this book out of the library because I had never heard of the author before and thought it might be good. I read a lot of books and this book didn't turn out to be one of my favorites. The whole book is about the main character always being involved with her friends, godchildren, etc. and how she even got in the way sometimes when she got involved maybe a little too much. The story never seems to develop beyond that. I was hopeful when the story started to turn towards a little romantic twist but that turned into pretty much nothing. If the author would have turned up the excitement at that point, maybe it would have turned out better for me. Who knows...I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are looking for something to make you fall asleep. I can appreciate serious books but I don't think that this book was meant to be so serious. It would have been better with a little romance or something...a little "spice". I apologize to anyone who loved this book...no offense!
ILgirl07 More than 1 year ago
Very cute story! The author is a bit more British than the likes of Sophie Kinsella though and some of her words made me laugh! Tessa has 7 godchildren but none of her own. She wonders if she made a mistake somewhere along the way. As the story unfolds, the plot thickens and the characters are much deeper than they originally seem. Not a typical "chick lit" book - a little heavier but excellently written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pema_70 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as an add-on to my shopping cart in order to qualify for a free-shipping opportunity. I rarely read fiction unless it's highly recommended by a very close friend that knows my tastes. I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN! The characters are so real; you can identify with them so well it was easy to put faces to each one as if a movie was playing in my head. When it ended,I felt like I did when all my favorite shows on Thursday Nights on NBC ended and there was nothing to watch. I love the main character's sarcasm; I laughed out loud many times. It's balanced though, I found myself on the edge of my seat with suspense, like in a movie theater, and then reaching for the kleenex in tears, at other times..Great work. A must must buy for yourself, gift,any occassion.
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butterflywishes More than 1 year ago
I am so happy to have found this author!! I found this book to be very witty, funny, sensitive, thoughtful & insightful. Though it may seem a little bit predictable at times, I think that overall it's a realistic journey through the assorted lives of a handful of people who have grown up & shared much of their lives together. It reminds me very much of the following quote: "Friends Are The Family That We Choose For Ourselves". I was sad to come to the end of this book as I enjoyed it so much, but I am also very excited to read her most recent book...'Stepmother' - I am confident that it will be equally satisfying!!
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GraduatesMom More than 1 year ago
I was totally disappointed with this book. I had seen a large advertisement about this book in PARADE and couldn't wait to order it. When it came in, I ran home, got comfy and started reading. It was hard to not just lay this book aside and never pick it up again. It was so slow moving, I found it hard to stay interested. I think I was half way through the book before I finally decided I was going to finish reading it.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
After spending six months in India to get away from London following the settlement of a sexual harassment suit that she won, Tessa King comes home. She looks forward to seeing her friends and her godchildren. At the airport her best friend Francesca is too busy to pick her up, but sends her spouse Nick and Tessa¿s oldest godson teenage Caspar. --- Tessa talks to her impoverished pal Billie and her second godchild, seven years old Cora Billie refuses to accept that Cora¿s dad will never be there for his illegitimate daughter as he has a family of his own. She next chats with her pal Helen, mother of five month old twins who will soon be her latest godchildren she hates Helen¿s spouse comedian Neil who cheats on her and has left her so despondent. Tessa also says hi to childless couples, Claudia and Al who are trying to have a child, and Ben and Sasha Tessa is attracted to reliable Ben. Whereas her friends are somewhat jealous of Tessa¿s freedom and appreciate how she dotes on their offspring, Tessa is jealous of their marriages and wonders if it is time for her to marry and raise a family. --- The lead protagonist is a reliable caring person who keeps the story line focused in spite of the myriad of subplots floating around and through her. The ensemble support cast contains several clearly defined characters as each of those mentioned above and others have distinct personalities. However, there are too many major strings to follow although the sum of the parts leads to a deep character study of a swinging single relooking at her values. --- Harriet Klausner
quirkyb More than 1 year ago
At least it was better than the other book named Godmother...and this girl wasn't completely insane.