Never Mind Miss Fox
Little, Brown, Aug 19 2014, $25.00
Martha and Clive met while attending Oxford. He fell in love immediately and felt fortunate when he persuaded her to join his Barkes family Easter vacation in France. Clive’s brother Tom’s special friend Eliot Fox joined them.
After years away from England, Eliot Fox comes home to London. One of her students Eliza Barkes informs her parents (Clive and Martha) that her piano teacher knows both of them. Whereas Martha relishes the coincidence, Clive panics as Eliot was his series of indiscretions over the years. Fearing she will expose his betrayal to his wife, Clive tries to keep the piano teacher away from her; but Eliot knowing the power she has over her occasional lover refuses to back away from the Barkes.
Appealingly rotating between the present relationships and past illicit trysts, this is an absorbing character study that looks at the impact an eccentric other woman has on her former lover and his family. The quartet is three dimensional making the cause and effect of his cheating seemingly genuine. Although the encounters over the years come across as well written but improbable happenchance, the trouble Miss Fox’s return to England causes to the Barkes’ seemingly happy family makes for an appealing novel.