In her sprightly second novel, Saunders (The Marrying Game) humorously captures the love affair between the boisterous British Darling family and their lifelong girl-next-door, Cassie. With emotionally distant parents of her own, Cassie has looked to the Darlings-Phoebe, Jimmy and their sons Ben and Fritz-for warmth ever since she was a child. At 31, Cassie, who is a literary editor, is thrust into the role of matchmaker when terminally ill Phoebe asks her to find suitable wives for 31-year-old Fritz and 29-year-old Ben. Much like the boys of Peter Pan, Fritz and Ben don't want to grow up: they don't have proper careers or serious girlfriends, and they still live at home with Phoebe. So it's much to Cassie's surprise that they're willing to help her fulfill their mother's dying wish. Soon Cassie is keeping the boys in dates while also dealing with her own relationship woes. With steady work and steadier girlfriends, Fritz and Ben suddenly seem headed toward a belated adulthood, and Cassie wrestles with deepening feelings for Fritz. Though Phoebe doesn't live to see the day, Cassie ultimately makes a very suitable match for her son. Witty banter and spirited characters propel this lighthearted novel to its heartwarming if formulaic conclusion. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Phoebe, who is dying of leukemia, has one final wish: to see her two wild sons finally settle down. It's now up to Cassie, who has known the boys since the three of them were runny-nosed playmates, to help marry them off-though she's not entirely sure that's feasible. Sensitive, poetic, unemployed musician Ben and fiery, sexy, unemployed actor Fritz are simply having too much fun playing the field and running through some of London's most eligible women. But Cassie is determined to make Phoebe's final wish come true, because warm and generous Phoebe has always been like a mother to her. In the meantime, Cassie has to deal with her own relationship problems, pull off a major publishing event at work, and come to terms with her real mother. First published in England, this novel has only one flaw: its heavy dose of local slang may be a bit too British for some readers. Otherwise, this is a witty tale full of smartly written characters and is sure to be a hit with both chick-lit fans and those who enjoy British fiction. Recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/05.]-Rebecca Vnuk, River Forest P.L., IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Engaging, witty fare, Saunders's novel of matchmaking gone awry (think modern-day Emma) is smart fiction masquerading as a light summer read. Phoebe has a last dying wish-to see her two sons happily wed. Ben Darling, unemployed pianist, and Fritz Darling, unemployed actor, are handsome, charming men. In fact, they've charmed the knickers off of half the girls in London. But Phoebe wants better for her boys, so calls on Cassie to help. As a small girl, she spent lonely days peeping through the hedge to the Darling's back garden (her own parents were icy and indifferent) until the Darlings brought her into their happy fold. As a grateful surrogate daughter, Cassie dotes on sweet Phoebe and promises to find proper matches for her sons, but she's without Phoebe's blind loyalty and sees Ben and Fritz for what they are. Bemoaned in her circle of high-achieving friends, the Darling boys are the archetype of spoiled foppishness, irresponsibility and devastating magnetism, used to lure sensible girls into their web of short-term bliss. Nevertheless, Cassie cleans the two up, scrubs their flat (really just the basement of their mother's posh home) and makes them promise to get some kind of paying job. Cassie's initial success begins to diminish as love lives go in all sorts of unplanned directions-including Cassie's own. Practically engaged (as she always claims) to the stodgy Mathew, Cassie finds him in bed with her friend Honor. Hazel, who she had planned to match with Ben, is instead getting hitched to Jonah, an even lazier lad than the Darling boys, and best friend Annabel, well-matched with Fritz, is reeling now that he's dumped her for a haughty actress. Cassie complains she feels trapped inan Anita Brookner novel, instead of Helen Fielding. And, of course, shadowing everything is Phoebe's impending death, her sons' touching, desperate devotion to her and the worry that her best, last wish may not come true. London lovers and happy families unite in this satisfying and touching work.
“Genuinely funny and heart-wrenching.” Entertainment Weekly
“A radiant romantic comedy.” Emily Giffin
“A smart, funny novel that offers a sharp look at some of love's more painful complications.” Chicago Sun-Times
“Engaging, witty fare, Saunders's novel of matchmaking gone awry (think modern-day Emma) is smart fiction.” Kirkus Reviews
“Bachelor Boys is about going next door to find family, about keeping promises, and about how people live forever in the hearts of those who love them. Kate Saunders has written a wonderful novel filled with the real and magical power of love.” Luanne Rice, author of Dance with Me
“Is it possible to be too beautiful? Too talented? Too intelligent? Too odd? The four Hasty daughters are all that and more, simultaneously blessed and cursed by the genetic gifts of their eccentric sire. . . . [A] whimsical and witty comedy of manners.” Kirkus Reviews on The Marrying Game
“An absolute delight!” Susan Isaacs, author of Any Place I Hang My Hat, on The Marrying Game
“Such wit, such charm, such intelligence, and what I loved most is that although in some ways it's a very serious book, it gave me that money-can't-buy serene glow that everything was going to be okay. This is a gloriously buoyant, uplifting book.” Marian Keyes, author of The Other Side of the Story, on The Marrying Game
“Elegant, funny, and deliciously romantic.” Katie Fforde, author of Paradise Fields, on The Marrying Game