The Au Pair Paperback – 19 Jul 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I work in the childcare industry and couldn't wait to get stuck into this one. It shows the bad and good sides of the au pair industry. I say industry because that is exactly what it is. Reading this it seemed like there was such a high turnover of young girls in some jobs, and I know that this is what does happen at times in real life.
There are some hilarious situations the characters find themselves in which are all written brilliantly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the various family units and how the au pairs fitted in, or didn't, into the family units.
Another great read from the author.
This is quite a long book, 570 pages long, but a very easy read. It's not too deep, but well written and very enjoyable. Definitely ideal as a summer read where not too much thought is needed.
The many characters in the book do get a little confusing at times, but the ending of the book just involves a few of the main characters, which makes you realise that not too much attention is actually needed towards the "extras". I liked the humour involving use of the English language by the Au Pairs, throughout the book, and the little twist to the story towards the end was a welcome surprise.
Altogether, a very good book.
Now just from that synopsis you can see that there are a lot of characters, and that's the way it is throughout the book. There are a lot of names to get your head around and I found myself struggling a little bit at first to keep with who was who! After a little while, I settled into the different stories and started to enjoy the different characters, but it is a little mind-boggling at first! I also found that I confused the au pair's more than anything else, as some of them only get a passing mention whereas others (such as Marie-France, my favourite by far) are far more pivotal in the story. I think Fraser enjoys writing big casts in her books, as there were a lot of them in The Playgroup too, and as long as you're paying attention you won't find too many problems as you are reading!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am upset I paid for it. Terrible, terrible book. I was an au pair myself in America and there is no way in hell that au pair agencies operate from "the kitchen table",... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Veronica
Not as good as other books by this author, but still quite enjoyable.Published 23 months ago by Val Newby
I loved this book... a real page turner. Would highly recommend. Just the right mix of humour and pathos. Excellent.Published 23 months ago by happyhippo
Yes I can recommend this book. I found it difficult to put down and read it within a few days. The characters are well defined and the story is interesting. Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2013 by lucy
Very gripping storyline, love the way the narrative always links up and characters intertwine! Found myself actually laugh and cry with some very touching moments. Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2013 by ruth foster
It took me a little while to get into this book, but about a third of the way in, I was gripped and couldn't put it down! Read morePublished on 7 Oct. 2013 by Mrs D Lockwood
once you start reading this book your instantly hooked, brilliant loved it as much as the other janey fraser books roll on the next one!Published on 22 Sept. 2013 by Fiona Scrase
This book was easy to get into, easy ro read, but with enough twists and plot to keep you interested - not a challenging read, but a thoroughly enjoyable and often humerous one. Read morePublished on 1 July 2013 by Susannah
A very funny book describing life for au pairs and their "families".
I was an au pair once but luckily I did not experience any of the difficulties in the book!