Richard Peck London Holiday: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780140278576

London Holiday: A Novel

3.27 avg rating
( 257 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780140278576: London Holiday: A Novel

“A charmingly upbeat tale... Peck’s stylish story offers not only pleasant diversion but a vicarious boost, and an urge to cheer, ‘Go, girls!’”—Arizona Daily Star
 
Lesley Hockaday is a St. Louis society woman, Margo Mayhew a Chicago schoolteacher and the mother of a teenage daughter, and Julia Steadman a single, successful Manhattan interior designer. Best friends during their Missouri childhood, the passage of time, the thousands of miles between them, and the demands of family and careers have taken a toll on their friendship. When a shocking act of violence reminds them how precious life really is, the three friends decide it’s time for a reunion and embark on a long-awaited trip to London.
 
From the cozy confines of Mrs. Smith-Porter’s bed-and-breakfast, Lesley, Margo, and Julia enter a gracious world of high tea in the garden, antique markets, picture-perfect countryside, and unexpected romance. The London holiday presents them with more than a few surprises, becomes a journey of self-discovery and a chance to renew the bonds of friendship, and holds the promise of three new lives awaiting them.

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Review:

In London Holiday, three middle-aged American women take a trip to London that changes their lives. Les, Julia, and Margo grew up together in a small Missouri town and have remained friends ever since childhood. They're all getting older and becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their lives. Les is a restless St. Louis society woman; Julia's a driven, single, interior designer; and Margo is a recently divorced schoolteacher. Les decides they all need to escape their lives for a while and go on an adventure together. It works wonders. On their first day in London, Julia takes off on her own and returns very late with a delightful story to tell: "I was picked up by a strange man in a south London slum who took me to a deserted barn in the country, and then a dying baronet thought I was the Duchess of Windsor." In other words, she went shopping for antiques and met a cute guy who might possibly be royalty. This book seems to be a fantasy specially designed for women of a certain age who particularly enjoy antiquing. The three friends stay in a beautifully decorated bed and breakfast run by a secretive, charming old woman named Mrs. Smith-Porter. Mrs. Smith-Porter has a knack for saying just the right thing to solve a problem then vanishing magically, which is a good thing because these women have plenty of problems. Les is stuck in a loveless marriage; Margo has just learned that her teenage daughter is pregnant and her former husband is gay; Julia is just plain lonely. England and Mrs. Smith-Porter improve these women's lives immeasurably. This is not a very profound book but it is rather fun, a good one to read at the beach. --Jill Marquis

About the Author:

Born in Decatur, IIlinois, Richard Peck has written over 41 books for young readers. He is the winner of the 1990 Margaret A. Edwards Award, a prestigious award sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association in cooperation with the School Library Journal; the 1990 National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature; and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award. In 2001 Mr. Peck was awarded the Newbery Medal for A Year Down Yonder.

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