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A Desirable Residence Paperback – 27 Oct 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (27 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055277670X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552776707
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Witty and wise" (Daily Telegraph)

"Wonderfully entertaining" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

An early bestseller from the fabulous author of the Shopaholic series

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE on 1 July 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've recently enjoyed reading Madeleine Wickham's first book "The Tennis Party", but felt it lacked bite, but I was optimistic that this would change as she went on, and this, her second book, proved it. It largely concerns Jonathan and Liz Chambers who have decided to set up their own tutorial college, and have got themselves into an alarming state of debt in the process. Estate agent Marcus Witherstone, a middle-aged smoothie with some dubious business deals on the side, steps in to help them. Liz finds herself becoming smitten by his charms and the two embark on an affaire. Meanwhile her daughter, Alice, is having a bad case of teenage blues, and starts to spend more and more of her time with Piers and Ginny, the trendy London couple who move in to her parents old house. Piers is a good-looking but failed actor, and Alice inevitably gets a crush on him. Also in the mix is Marcus's wife, Anthea, an ambitious woman who has set frighteningly high standards for their two sons (Wickham writes very engagingly about the two little lads, and has a real understanding of children). This is one of those very rare books these days that I actually wished was longer. Liz's affair is very real and very sad, as we see this woman deluding herself that she's about to embark on a new and glamorous life. Wickham is branded as a light author (i.e presumably not serious and heavyweight like Anita Brookner for instance), and yet she writes about human relationships with a lot more insight and credibility than many so-called quality authors. A good read all round.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an avid fan of Sophie Kinsella, I hoped that the books written as Madeleine Wickham would prove to be,if not as good, then at least a good read.
I read 'A Desirable Residence' and was not disappointed...so went on to buy the rest of the books by this author.
Madeleine had proved, time and time again that she understands how people 'tick' and can write a great story about the simplest of events.
All her books are well written, she has an enviable talent, and if they do not prove to be 'classics' they certainly do what they set out to do,they entertain the reader...every time!
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By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
Those who enjoyed the over-the-top popular Shopaholic series will be delighted to find that Madeline Wickham (who wrote the Shopaholics as Sophie Kinsella) has returned with her trademark tart wit, unerring eye, and imagination to introduce us to Liz and Jonathan Chambers who find themselves thigh-high in debt thanks to two mortgages, sky rocketing bills and an unknowable, impossible young daughter, Alice.

Set in suburban London Liz and Jonathan see no way out of their financial troubles until Marcus, a realtor, appears (more than appears as he and Liz begin an affair). Marcus is a busy guy - he also suggests that Jonathan and Liz rent their unsold home to a couple from London, wonderful idea until the tenants arrive - Ginny and Piers Prestice.

Ginny is a glam gal with a PR job, and husband Piers is a wannabe actor who may or may not land a top spot on an upcoming soapie. Thus begins the merry mix-up (think a Noel Coward comedy of errors and characters). Surprisingly, Alice takes a liking to the Prentices; Anthea, Marcus's wife thinks Jonathan can do no wrong; Marcus regrets a past not-too-smart business deal There is an assortment of woes, enough for all and more.

If we're still thinking of a Noel Coward comedy, it's Act III and Ginny hosts a party on the eve of Piers's all-important audition. You're going to have to listen to hear the fireworks at this festive event.

Voice performer Kate Kellgren is the perfect performer to bring this cast of characters to life - she has perfect comic timing and a range that allows listeners to quickly and easily distinguish Liz from Ginny and Alice from Althea, etc.

Loads of wily Wickham fun! Enjoy.

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title says it all. A confusing cluster of characters drifting around an unresolved plot, nothing goes anywhere. We finish with one character out of about fifteen feeling vaguely pleased. Err - that's it. That's REALLY it!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Boring story with boring characters. The ending for this book was rushed and truly awful. I didn't even realise it was the end. None of the ends got tied up at all. I feel like the book had a 1/3 left off. The story was nowhere near good enough to finish like that.
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Format: Paperback
I love Sophie Kinsella and when I realised she had written under another name I thought I've got to read them. Well I picked up this one and I was disappointed as it did not have me, not wanting to put the book down, like I normally can't do.

This book is about a couple called Liz and Jonathan Chambers who have just brought a Tutorial College in Silchester and they can't sell their old house. One day when Liz is in the estate agents (wanting to know why they have still not found a buyer for their house) she meets the owner Marcus Witherstone and he says can find tenants for her house as the property market is a bit slow. On the day Marcus and Liz are meeting the tenants they both seem to have an attraction to one another and before long they are booking into hotels behind the other partners backs.

You also have Liz and Jonathan's daughter Alice who has no friends and quickly ends up becoming friends with the new tenants Ginny and Piers (who happens to be an actor). She spends all her time at her old house with them.

The book is based around all these people and for me it's just to much and it is also all over the place and you sort of get a bit lost. So I won't be reccommending and I am not sure whether to try another one under Madeleine Wickham.
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