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The Au Pair Paperback – 19 Jul 2012


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The Au Pair + The Playgroup + Happy Families
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099558181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558187
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janey Fraser always dreamed of writing novels in a country cottage with lots of children, a dog and a pony. Unbelievably, most of her dreams were answered although not without some rather large hiccups along the way!

After a career in women's magazines interviewing celebrities like Julie Walters and Nigel Havers, Janey wrote several non-fiction books about childcare including 'Tidy Your Room; How to get kids to do what you want'. Unfortunately, she has never quite succeeded in doing that with her own three. She has also written a series of children's books, including 'When Mum Was Little' and 'When Gran Was Little'.

Janey has appeared live on breakfast television, talking about her books, and has also been on numerous radio programmes including Woman's Hour and The Learning Curve. She also writes short stories for magazines; runs writing courses; is a regular speaker at literary festivals including Winchester and Guildford.

Her recent hobby is belly dancing, much to the horror of her children. However, Janey firmly believes that embarrassing one's offspring is a perk of the job.

Find out more at www.janeyfraser.co.uk

BOOKS:

THE PLAYGROUP (OUT NOW)
Take three adults and mix them with a group of under-fives at Puddleducks Playgroup. What do you get? A steaming story about love, envy, laughter and tears. Gemma, the young acting playgroup leader has a secret which could wreck someone else's life. Nancy, a panicky first-time mum needs to save her child - and her marriage. Joe, the handsome, moody new head of Reception has to learn some lessons himself before he can pass them onto his class. But then little Lily, the daughter of a celebrity singer, goes missing and Danny, her small friend is diagnosed with the kind of illness that every parent dreads. Will they all pull through? All is revealed when Puddleducks Playgroup puts on its annual nativity Christmas play - with an unexpected ending.

REVIEWS:
'A must-read for anyone who has small children or knows them. Hugely enjoyable' Katie Fforde

'This has a sparkle, a lightness of touch and a deep, true charm. It is written from the heart' Elizabeth Buchan

'I read without stopping' Fay Weldon

'I loved it. A terrific story and enormous fun' Judy Astley

'Warmly and engagingly written and with an engaging cast of characters. The Playgroup captivated me from the very first page' Trisha Ashley

THE AU PAIR (OUT NOW)
Apparently anyone can set up an au pair agency around their kitchen table. So when money gets tight, Jilly does exactly that. But she hadn't reckoned on Marie-France, a sparky French girl, signing up in the hope of finding her father, twenty years after her own mother had been an au pair in the same town.
Then there's Matthew, a confused widower whose daughter has driven away a string of au pairs. Can Jilly ever find him the perfect match?
And let's not forget the rest of the au pair mafia, including Heidi, Fatima and Antoinette who 'likes children but not very much'.
The Au Pair is an hilarious but truthful romp through the world of au pairs and their unsuspecting families.

REVIEWS:

'Sheer delight - but don't let your au pair read it!' Fay Weldon

'AA hilarious romp about the perils of inviting mother's little helpers into the chaos of domestic life.' DAILY EXPRESS (four stars)

'Lots of fun and wonderfully entertaining.' Kim the Bookworm


Product Description

Book Description

From the author of The Playgroup a hilarious book about families, au pairs, and the chaos that ensues when the two come together

From the Back Cover

Apparently anyone can set up an au pair agency around their kitchen table. So when money gets tight, Jilly does exactly that. But she hadn’t reckoned on Marie-France, a sparky French girl, signing up in the hope of finding her father, twenty years after her own mother had been an au pair in the same town.

Then there’s Matthew, a confused widower whose daughter has driven away a string of au pairs. Can Jilly ever find him the perfect match?

And let’s not forget the rest of the au pair mafia, including Heidi, Fatima and Antoinette who ‘likes children but not very much’.

The Au Pair is an hilarious but truthful romp through the world of au pairs and their unsuspecting families.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sharon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
Having read Janey Fraser's first novel, The Playgroup, earlier this year which I really enjoyed, I was pleased to see that I didn't have too long to wait until her second book, The Au Pair, was published.

Although this is set in the same town as The Playgroup we are introduced to a new set of characters but a couple do make a brief reappearance.

When Jilly's husband is demoted at work creating a reduction in their income, she decides that she needs to go back to work so decides to set up her own au pair agency which she can run from home. But little does she know about the amount of work that's actually involved or the strain that it will cause on her marriage and her family life.

The au pairs she recruits come to the UK from various countries throughout Europe and for many different reasons; Marie-France is hoping that she'll be able to track down her English father whereas Fatima is escaping the wrath of her family.

It's like a juggling act trying to match her au pairs with suitable families but the matches are not always successful and she's constantly having to resolve issues created by both the au pairs and their families. For most people the idea for getting an au pair is to help them out and make things easier for them but that doesn't seem to be the case for the families in this book.

There are quite a few characters to follow in this book, with the various au pairs and their families, which could have been a bit confusing but actually I didn't find that the case at all. If I had to pick my favourite characters I would pick two, the French au pair Marie-France and young Lottie who wants her dad all to herself.

This was an enjoyable book to read with plenty of humour throughout created by the misinterpretation of words and phrases although there were also a few poignant moments too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Megan ReadingInTheSunshine TOP 100 REVIEWER on 6 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I'd read by Janey Fraser, and I wasn't disappointed. Janey has written a great, easy to read story that is perfect for a summer read by the beach!

In the Au Pair, Janey introoduces a wide range of characters, all with very different personalities and it's very interesting to see how each character develops througout the story. At the beginning, it can be a bit difficult to keep track of who is who but persevere because what unfolds after is an intriguing set of stories, and you do want to find out how each au pair copes with their new life.

My favourite character was Marie-France, a French girl who signs up to be an au pair in the hope of finding her father. Personally I loved her storyline, I almost wish the entire book had been about her! Widower Matthew was another favourite of mine, his story of trying to bring up his daughter Lottie single-handedly after the death of his wife was very touching, and I feel Janey Fraser wrote their part very well, it was a great addition to the story and only made me want to read on more to find out where Matthew and Lottie's journey progressed.

There are a lot of humourous moments provided in the book. The au pairs are foreign and are all at different stages with their English, and at times I was laughing out loud at the events that unfolded, and the language barriers between some of the characters. The au pairs personalities and accents really shone through the pages, and it made the story that much more enjoyable to read.

This is a fun, light, wonderful read that will have you smiling throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue Weedon on 16 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback
I haven't laughed so much when reading a book for years. Having employed au pairs myself in the past Janey reminded me of the heartache and frustration and humour I experienced. For me when she describes taking the telephone into the downstairs toilet to have a business conversation without screaming children in the background, head getting closer to the toilet bowl and loo cleaners to move as far away from the kids kicking on the door, I remembered identical times with joy and laughter rather than the anger and embarrassment I felt 25 years ago when it was happening to me. Thank you Janey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie on 13 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
Janey Fraser has created loveable, likeable characters in the book. So much so, that when a chapter ends you don't want to go onto the 'next' character just yet. Full of fun, there are some emotional hot spots in there too. A 'light' read - which is incredibly difficult to write.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Palefox on 4 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
Regardless of whether you have kids or not, The Au Pair by Janey Fraser is hilariously entertaining from the first page to the last. The conflicts resulting from the various au pairs' misuse of the English language are always believable, never farcical. Janey Fraser tells an engaging tale and keeps a firm grip on her vast and varied cast of characters throughout the 578 pages.
A real feast of a book that keeps the reader turning the pages and looking forward to the next one in the series.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Hardy on 25 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
This wouldn't normally have been my genre of choice, but this book has now definitely changed all of that. I absolutely loved it!

The story is about Jilly, who sets up an Au pair agency, and tries, sometimes unsuccessfully, to fit work in around her family life.

What I loved about this book was the amount of characters that were in it and how with the authors perfect descriptive writing, had made them such vibrant characters, all with their own tale to tell.

They were of varying nationalities, which led to some amusing moments when they were talking about their life in England, and often came up with words that were lost in translation. Such as one Au pair talking about how the mother in her family was on the "Cab Itch" diet.

The book had amusing parts throughout and I loved the sections interspersed between the chapters, where there were tips for Au pairs and their families in "Jillies Au Pair Agency : Guidelines for Au Pairs and Families". Explaining the meaning of phrases like "Not on your Nellie" "Egg on your Face" and other such phrases.

The storyline throughout the whole 582 pages takes you through several feelings of amusement;sadness;worry. Most of all this book is very fulfilling. I really didn't want it to end, as I had connected with so many of the characters as if I knew them personally.

At the end of the book, you're not left wondering about any of the characters involved and how their lives evolve, as the author finishes it with a series of newspaper cuttings, e-mails and postcards.

This is definitely a keeper for me and is a great holiday read. One of the best books I've read in a long time and I thoroughly recommend it.

I'm off now to by more books from this author.
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