*** Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy


Meeting the English reminded me, a lot, of Love, Nina, which was a set of (real) letters written by a nanny to a literary family in London. This is a novel, but with a similar setup of a young Scottish high school graduate who comes to help a well-known writer who just suffered a stroke, and whose two wives (one divorced, nothing that titillating) both fail to take much of an interest in him, besides figuring out when they will get his money. Add two ungrateful semi-grown children, an anorexic friend, and a gay literary agent, and the stage is set for a long, hot summer of intrigue, told mostly from the point of view of the kind, generous young Scot. Apart from the simplistic ending, the plot uncoils with enough surprises and villains to make for a very enjoyable story.

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