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Airs and Graces [Paperback]

Erica James
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Jun 2004

Ellen has been living on her own in a picturesque if damp cottage in Cheshire since her husband abandoned her to go and live with another woman in Provence. Having married once for love, she is now determined that the second time around it will be for money. Close at hand is Duncan, her not unattractive, and enticingly single, divorce lawyer...

But then two new people enter her life: Jo-Jo, a homeless girl several months pregnant; and Matthew, an artist who paints murals in country houses and who, on his first meeting with Ellen, openly criticises her for being mercenary and devious. But, as hostility gives way to friendship, Ellen realises that she has wavered off course from her original plan and she has to remind herself very strongly indeed that Duncan is the man for her ...



Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (17 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752843435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752843438
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 11 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,166,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

The author of thirteen bestselling novels, including Gardens of Delight which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestseller, It's the Little Things, Erica now divides her time between Cheshire and Lake Como in Italy, where she now strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.

Product Description

Book Description

A wonderfully fresh novel of love and life from the bestselling author of PARADISE HOUSE.

About the Author

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion. The author of many bestselling novels, including Gardens of Delight which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestseller, The Queen of New Beginnings, Erica now divides her time between Cheshire and Lake Como in Italy, where she strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Crantsford was the last place in which Ellen expected to see a young teenage girl begging for money. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Feel-good Novel 31 Jan 2002
Format:Paperback
This is a great book to curl up with on a cold evening. It's one of those books that you can loose yourself in; and come away happy, convinced there's good in the world after all. The characters are believable and you really feel you want to get to know the central protaganists. However, it's not all schmaltzy slush, it's a great read!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as always 14 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Erica James always manages to bring her characters to life to such an extent that you end up thinking you know them! I loved the batty Hermione and stuck up Duncan and his dreadful mother. Each story Erica James writes manages to be different, fresh and intriguing. Excellent book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and humerous book 6 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Erica James has the ability to bring her characters to life, I feel as though I personally know Ellen, Hermoine and Jo-Jo, and right from the start I wanted things to work out for all of them. An immensley humerous and entertaining book, easy to read and difficult to put down. My only critism is that the end seemed rather hurried, maybe a sequel would be a good idea.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Affairs and Strange Places 28 April 2011
By Penny
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm becoming more and more disappointed in Erica James. Having read a couple of really good books of hers which started me off as a fan, I've started to feel very despondent. This book came across as being totally unrealistic. The main character was yet another "victim" with little spirit and being down-trodden as Ellen - a doormat whom everyone seemed to walk over and who was quite happy to let them. I kept thinking "for God's sake woman stand up for yourself". Books like this make me feel frustrated. None of the characters came across as real people, in particular the couple called "Bonkers and Susie" a ridiculous pair. La Carter and Hermione are another potty pair. Yes, potty people can be amusing, but not this lot. I'm about to start "Promises Promises" which I had already purchased. If this one continues along the same lines I shall be looking elsewhere for a good author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Fulfilling Story 6 Nov 2006
By A. Rose TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
A contemporary style story with mostly modern characters and one or two good `old school' characters that fit together really well. The story holds a good mixture of love, good deeds and friendship. Overall, a very enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure Escapism 23 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
I read this book while unwell and it was a good choice for escapism. The main theme is explicit in the title and half the fun of the book is in witnessing these airs and graces being stripped away. The character of Hermione should come with a health warning for anyone with an allergy to laughter - she had me doubled up, and is truly a work of genius.

However to brand this novel a comedy is to sell it short. It carries a message, and a gentle reminder of what matters in life. Despite being slightly outdone by her eccentric friend Hermione, the main character Ellen is lovable, although most readers will find themselves wishing to shake some sense into her at many points in the narrative. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed 18 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
I did enjoy this book but could quite happily have shaken Ellen many times. Being pedantic, I also wish authors used proof readers more. instead I think most of them rely on auto check as point in question on page 246, Hermoine lives and has done all her life at Laburnum House and yet in the very next paragraph her then war time boyfriend leaves Orchard House which is in fact a recent building that used to belong to her friend Ellen, Sorry I couldn't resist but it stuck out like a sore thumb to me but regardless of that fact, it was still had me engrossed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice predictable read 30 April 2011
By A. Douglas TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
In simple terms this is how the story goes: Ellen is dating the wrong man, all of her friends know this. Then she meets the right man (she doesn't realise it yet). The story goes on for a bit and then her boyfriend is revealed as not very nice along with his mother Nadia. Nadia is the predictable cliche of the well off widow who manipulates her son and gets rid of every woman in his life. There are no surprises in this book. Not even when her friend Hermione loses her new beau who lives in the old folks home near her house. It ends exactly as you would expect. This along with all the other Erica James books are based on cliches, the pretty village and feel good endings. Okay for a holiday if you don't want to be thrilled and you don't want to think too much!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
I really enjoying reading Erica James novels and so far since 2004 have read every book released, Fantastic Author. And will carry on doing so.
Published 22 days ago by Mrs Rosalind McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars another great book
again erica james has not dissapointed me i wish a had just discovered her as i only have about 3 books
of hers to read and have will have to look for an author just as good
Published 3 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Frippery
This was a Christmas present for a friend but I had already read it and enjoyed the escapism. A few twists and turns just to keep you turning the pages.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Suzanne Mace
4.0 out of 5 stars What a heartwarming book
I loved this book. It was a great story and a thoroughly good read. Well recommended. Well done Erica James.
Published 9 months ago by Peter Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it but didn't love it ..little annoying in places.
On the whole i did enjoy this story, but i felt it was very unrealistic in places. I agree with another comment that the characters Bonkers and Susie were silly and annoying ... Read more
Published 10 months ago by F. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Erica James.
A very good read, this author always writes a well written entertaining story.As usual, she did not let me down.
Published 11 months ago by sannie
5.0 out of 5 stars love Erica James
there hasn't been one of Erica James book's i havn't enjoyed. wish she could wright a book every month if she could im sure she would'nt dissapoint .
Published 14 months ago by lynda
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel...
A great novel, I had forgotton about this one but a very good read and is one of Erica James best novel's.... I was glad to re-read the novel.
Published 17 months ago by Kath
5.0 out of 5 stars Airs and Graces
I loved this book, it had a really feel good factor, the characters were brilliant especially Hermione with her quick wit, I laughed so much. Read more
Published 17 months ago by stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars Airs and Graces
Anything by this author is worth reading. Lighthearted funny and pleasantly romantic, not slushy always with a good moral theme running though it
Published 18 months ago by Gillian Beach
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