Stately Pursuits [NOOK Book]

Overview



"You're not doing very much at the moment, darling. I don't suppose you'd care to house-sit for a while?"

Thus begins the irresistible story of two fixer-uppers-an old house and a young woman-and their efforts to recapture their true luster.

When Hetty Longden, freshly dumped and brokenhearted, agrees to look after her great-uncle's long-abandoned mansion in the British countryside, she's at something of a lifetime low. With no job, no ...
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Stately Pursuits

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Overview



"You're not doing very much at the moment, darling. I don't suppose you'd care to house-sit for a while?"

Thus begins the irresistible story of two fixer-uppers-an old house and a young woman-and their efforts to recapture their true luster.

When Hetty Longden, freshly dumped and brokenhearted, agrees to look after her great-uncle's long-abandoned mansion in the British countryside, she's at something of a lifetime low. With no job, no lover, no prospects, and no particular talent for resuscitating crumbling estates, she hope for nothing more than some good old-fashioned escape. What she finds includes a cast of quirky an ever-present neighbors, a couple of SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys), some very humorless bank officials, two disarming little canines, one gracious, dilapidated, romantic old house, and, just maybe, enough elbow grease to polish everything up again.

A British bestseller that's as inviting as an elegant old house full of unexplored rooms (after a good scrubbing-down, of course), Stately Pursuits is the funniest, smartest, and warmest read of the season.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cheery, good-natured and predictable, British writer Fforde's latest stylish romance (after Wild Designs) relates the story of a young, freshly jilted and heartbroken protagonist, Hetty Longden, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to house-sit for her ailing elderly uncle Samuel while he is hospitalized. Hetty finds Courtbridge, Samuel's stately manor home, in desperate need of renovation; moreover, Samuel is deeply in debt. Even more threatening than loan officers, though, is Connor Barrabin, Samuel's gruff and irascible heir (known as "Conan the Barbarian" to locals), who intends to raze the house and erect a theme park on the property as soon as Courtbridge comes into his possession. Hetty, like the other residents of the small English village, is horrified by the potential loss of this piece of their national heritage and is determined instead to fix up the stately home and open it to the paying public for tours and parties. Rallying the help of the multitalented townsfolk and the local Brownie troop, plucky Hetty gets the house in shape, meanwhile managing to rebuild her shattered confidence and make some wonderful new friends. Also, not surprisingly, Hetty finds a sensitive and loving man beneath Connor's abrasive exterior, and the two fall in love despite their opposing views about the fate of the house. Although the plot isn't terribly imaginative, the novel has a warm and fuzzy charm, some nice comic scenes and the usual romantic contretemps. (July)
Library Journal
Hetty has taken a job house-sitting a 600-year-old place named Courtbridge, which proves to be in dire need of renovations and extensive repairs. She agrees to tackle the assignment because, reeling from a rather humiliating romantic break-up, it seems like a good hideaway in which to mend her heart and ponder her future. Unknown to Hetty, the hospitalized owner, Samuel, has sent his rather beefy but handsome nephew Connor to keep an eye on her as well as his crumbling ancestral home. Hetty hatches a scheme to restore the old home to all its former stateliness by opening the mansion and charging for tours, weddings, and other social occasions. However, Connor would prefer to tear the old thing down, sell the property, pay off some old loans, and be done with the architectural dinosaur. Needless to say, these two opinionated and obstinate people discover in spite of their different views a remarkable attraction to each other. A satisfying although somewhat anticipated conclusion bodes well for the house, the couple, and even the cat, Clovis. Library patrons who enjoy the romantic novels of Jayne Ann Krentz and Nora Roberts will find a similar story here but with a delightful British accent; from the author of The Rose Revived (St. Martin's, 1996).Margaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Hts. P.L., MI
Elizabeth Buchan
"Romantic comedy is one of the hardest things to pull off, requiring aplomb, immaculate timing, and a relish for the absurd. Katie Fforde pays the form a spirited compliment." -- Sunday Times (London}
Helen Dunmore
"Florde's appeal is her ability to reproduce the eccentricities of everyday life." -- Times (London)
Kirkus Reviews
A romp from British writer Fforde (Wild Designs, 1997) as This Old House meets the Love Channel when a woman finds romance and restores a ruin in an eccentric English village. At first, when Hetty's arrogant lover Alistair lets her down ever so nastily—he arranges for her to discover him in bed with another womanþHetty is heart-broken. But she's feisty enough to dent his Porsche before fleeing the dreadful love nest. This feistiness, combined with her decision never to fall in love again, makes her an ideal caretaker of Courtbridge House, the decaying haven owned by Hettyþs aged relative Samuel. Currently recuperating in a convalescent home, Samuel puts Hetty in charge of his finances, but she soon finds to her dismay that he's horribly in debt, with barely enough money to pay his loan installments. And the house is threatened not only with insolvency. As Hetty learns from woodworker Peter, a genuine SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) and from village powerhouse Phyllis, Samuel's heir Connor wants to tear the house down and turn it into a theme park! Hetty is soon busy cleaning up the place and opening it to the public for tours and so forth to help raise money for its continued maintenance. Sheþs just as determined as the villagers to preserve the house, but Connor, now dubbed þConan the Barbarian,þ is discouraging in this regard. Even so, despite her resolve not to buckle before men, Hettyþs perversely attracted to him. True love must have its travails, though: He accuses her of deception; she charges him with hard-heartedness. They quarrel, and after a car accident Hetty takes another job. But soon the house, fully restored, becomes the perfectsetting for romance. A delightful, unabashedly unpretentious love yarn.
From the Publisher

"Charming...enormously enjoyable...Like listening to Cole Porter or watching The Philadelphia Story." --Newsday

"A delightful, unabashedly unpretentious love yarn." --Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466834064
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/1999
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 92,698
  • File size: 358 KB

Meet the Author



Hailed as a rising literary star, Katie Fforde is the author of five acclaimed novels, including Wild Designs. Born in Wimbledon, she lives in Gloucestershire, England. Her newest novel is titled Life Skills.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I have read all of Katie Fforde's book. This was a gift for my grandson's girlfriend.

    The person I bought this for loved it and wanted to read more books about the same characters and by the same author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2000

    Funny, breezy - a book to make you feel good

    Ms Fforde has a gift for humor, and the result is a charming love story about two people who both need to grow up a bit before they can fall in love. Hetty really comes into her own, learns how to be confident on her own. Conner learns that he needs someone like Hetty to fill his heart. In the process, you meet a cast of lovable characters. This isn't a 'deep' book - but it's a fun read.

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    Posted April 13, 2009

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    Posted December 25, 2009

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