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  • Who is curling the croissants at 4 a.m.?

    After finding herself feeding mints to an unhappy child like some sort of maiden aunt, Edith Lane decides enough is enough and something drastic must be done. She answers an advert in the paper for an English speaking manager for a bakery in Paris and when, to her surprise, she gets accepted immediately she whips out a French phrasebook and books a flight. Quiet and unassuming Edith finds herself not in Paris but in a beautiful town about an hours drive away and in a very small room which would be more suited to a mouse. Deciding adventure doesn't necessarily mean immediate gratuitous pleasure she stays anyway and quickly settles in with the locals. But who is curling the croissants at 4am and why can't she go down to the basement? I loved Edith and this book is an absolute cracker with a cast of wonderful characters who ooze 'Frenchness'. It's about a woman who, having spent several years looking after other people, broke free of the doldrums and sets out to see what she can do to get some adventure out of life. There is a love interest but it is fraught with moral implications. There are moments in the book which had me in stitches particularly when Edith is in a club and comes face to face with the hole in the floor which serves as the loo - the joys of French plumbing. This is a book which encourages independence and standing up for what is right and a story of a strong community who is appreciative of the past and proud of who they are. Evie Gaughan's writing style is on point and so engaging. Right from page one I was hooked - there's humour, a cracking story and likable characters.

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