I enjoyed this tale of Emily Fox-Seton, and her life of at first refined drudgery and later luxury. The first part of this story is how Emily, alone in the world and living in a cheap boarding house, doing errands for wealthy women, is invited to a country house by one of the ladies for whom she works. The time she spends there includes organising a fete for the local village, an exhausting job. The next day when Emily is sent on another errand, involving a legthy walk , Lord Walmerslet, another guest and a widower, rescues her and proposes marriage. Happily settled at the Marquis' estate, Emily sets out to help her husbands presumed heir, Alex Osborn, recently returned fro a tour of work in India, along with his wife and her servant. The marquis is called to India on business and leaves his recently wedded wife alone . The second part of the story becomes more of a mystery or thriller, as threatening attempts are made on Emily's life. The story however does have a satisfying ending, after a period of suspense and tension. A really good read.
Joanne Harris's Peaches for Monsieur le Cure another satisfying, enjoyable read. The third novel with Vianne Rocher as the main character and narrator, a follow up to Chocolat and the Lollipop Shoes. In this story Vianne and her daughter Anoushka returns to Lansquenet, the small town in which Chocolat was set, for a summer holiday, after receiving a letter from her now dead friend, Armande. Lansquenet has changed, however. The cure, Monsieur Reynaud seems to be in a precarious postion, especially over his relations with a group of Muslim immigrants, who have settled in the older part of the town near the river. A young Muslim, Karim Bencharki and his sister Ines seem to be setting a new stricter way of life for the younger Muslims, which is creating tensions in that community and with the local French town dwellers as well. Vianne gets involved in the events and tries to sort things out in her way, by making some of her delicious, seductive chocolates and also some peach jam. She also helps a young Muslim girl who runs away from her family. The tensions between the communities and different charaters is well maintained and provides a delightful read. I think this follow up more successful than Lollipop Shoes.