Becoming a writer is the dream of Oxbridge graduate Anna but a flurry of CV mail-outs draws nothing but blanks. However, when the poisonous novelist Cassandra takes her on, her luck appears to be changing. But, soon, Anna is in a domestic hell--a glorified au pair coping with Cassandra's philandering, ageing rock-star husband. So when Anna meets the handsome Jamie, a Scottish laird who is heir to a Balmoral-style castle, she is exhilarated at the thought of escape from her grisly circumstances. Her luck, though, is about to run true to form.
Wendy Holden's Bad Heir Day is a blackly comic anatomising of society life, with a liberal sprinkling of hilarious moments and a cast of characters that have a fully realised solidity, while still being several sizes larger-than-life. The superbitch Cassandra is a particularly memorable monster, spitting out cutting putdowns in a fashion that would give Bette Davis pause. Having honed an analytical eye working for Harpers & Queen, Holden made a splash with the similarly witty Simply Divine. This one takes the Wodehousian flair of her debut book and adds a more irresistibly plotted narrative to its corrosive picture of the glossy magazine world. Holden's take on modern manners among the Upper Crust is always clear-eyed and extremely funny, whatever the situation:
Sex scenes had been Cassandra's stock in trade. She was celebrated among the commuting classes for the ability to produce erections on the Circle Line at seven in the morning, "here was a writer at the peak of her powers." But for the moment, those powers had deserted her. Cassandra doubted now she'd be able to produce erections among a gang of footballers being lapdanced in Stringfellows.
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'The perfect holiday read: sexy, satirical, funny, light as air' The Scotsman
'A frothy, spiky book, brimming with puns and caricatures of ghastly social gargoyles' Daily Mail
'Girl-meets-earl fantasy from a very funny British novelist... The whimsical ingenuity of PG Wodehouse meets the sex-o-matic action of Jackie Collins. Holden stays in control of her supercharged face all the way, though, even when a host of hysterically funny characters almost steal the show' Kirkus Reviews
'On gloomy days, Wendy Holden's novels should be handed round like aspirin. Her new book, PASTURES NOUVEAUX, is guaranteed to bring a smile evne to the baddest of moods... The hills are alive with the sound of high jinks in this laugh-a-minute romp' B magazine
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