Monday, June 20, 2011

40 Love-Madeleine Wickham

40 Love
Madeleine Wickham
Dunne, Aug 30 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312562755

In Bowdon, England, finance advisor Patrick Chance and his wife Caroline host a weekend of tennis with three other couples and their kids at their luxurious estate. Their daughter Georgina looks forward to the party. Wealthy Charles and Cressida Mobyn arrive with their nanny and their twin children; Patrick wants to sell him an investment package. PH.D. candidate Stephen and Anne Fairweather arrive with daughter Nicola who suffered a debilitating stroke and their son Toby. Finally Don Roper and his daughter Valerie also show up.

Patrick looks back to when he, Charles and Ella smoked pot until the latter two broke up as a couple. Patrick mentions his investment fund to Charles who says he has no money to invest. Patrick wants 100,000 pounds while Charles offers 5K as a friend. They are angry at each other while Stephen envies both. Patrick and Stephen talk about the investment. The former persuades the latter to take out a new mortgage to invest. Anne and Caroline chat like old buddies. Cressida opens a letter that shocks her. Ella arrives, which shocks Caroline and the others. Caroline lectures Patrick over conning Stephen who is a friend and cannot afford the investment. Charles and Ella take a walk. They have sex before Charles returns to the room he shares with his wife. He reads the letter and explodes in anger.

This contemporary British family drama is a timely reprint (written as Sophie Kinsella) of an entertaining character study in which the ensemble cast has different personalities and interrelationships solidly developed. Although there is too much angst, fans of family dramas will enjoy the four subgroups deal with relationship and financial crisis.

Harriet Klausner

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