From bonding to bondage, from B&Q to Belarus, along with seven smelly cats, three useless handymen, two slimy estate agents, social workers, and a bonker lady, this is the story of a very unlikely friendship. Georgie Sinclair's husband has walked out; her sixteen-year-old son is busy surfing born-again websites; and all those overdue articles for Adhesives in the Modern World are getting her down. So when Georgie spots Mrs Shapiro, an eccentric old Jewish emigre neighbour with an eye for a bargain and a fondness for matchmaking, rummaging through her skip in the middle of the night, it's just the distraction she needs. And although they mistrust each other at first - Georgie doesn't like the look of that past-its-sell-by-date fish, while Mrs Shapiro thinks Georgie needs to smarten herself up and grab a new husband - a firm friendship is formed over the reduced-price shelf at the supermarket. Then Mrs Shapiro is admitted to hospital and to Georgie's surprise, she is named as her next of kin. But sorting out Mrs Shapiro's semi-derelict mansion in Highbury, home to seven stinky cats with agendas of their own, is no easy job when the handyman called in to change the locks turns out to be not what he seems and his two assistants, 'the Uselesses', are doing more breaking than fixing. And what about the two slimy estate agents (one with a charming taste for bondage) who start competing to trick Mrs Shapiro into selling her rickety old house, or the social worker determined to commit her to a nursing home? As Georgie steps in to help her new friend, she finds herself unravelling a mystery which takes her from Highbury to wartime Europe to the Middle East, and learning a bit about DIY along the way.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Marina Lewycka was born in Kiel, Germany, after the war, and moved to England with her family when she was about a year old. Her first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, has sold more than a million copies in the UK alone and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, longlisted for the Man Booker and won the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction and the Waverton Good Read Award. Her second novel, Two Caravans, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Two Caravans and Marina's third and fourth novels, We Are All Made of Glue and Various Pets Alive and Dead are all available in Penguin. Marina Lewycka lives in Sheffield.