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Housewife Up - Alison Penton Harper

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Alison Penton Harper / Paperback / 320 Pages / Book is published 2006-09-01 by Pan

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      23.04.2010 17:19
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      Slightly better than the first but it keeps getting better after this one

      "Heaven save us from ourselves. And if you can't manage that, I'd settle for saving me from me."

      Having recently lost her husband, Helen begins to make a new life for herself with help from her much-loved family and friends. Despite the rapid approach of her fortieth birthday, her gorgeous new flat, new friends, neighbours and boyfriend, and a new feeling of freedom that she hasn't felt in many years, is everything that Helen needs.

      But when she suddenly begins to have money troubles, the only thing Helen can do to save her herself is to jump back into the employment pool once again. But with no experience, and not having had a job in fifteen years, Helen knows she's going to find it difficult. But the one job she is qualified for is a housewife and when the perfect job comes along, the only thing she needs to get to grips with is the boss from hell.

      ~ My opinion ~

      This is the second book in the House Wife series by Alison Penton Harper and, even though the first wasn't the best chick-lit book I've ever read, I had the whole series at home so ploughed on with this one.

      This is very similar to the first book where there isn't really that much of a storyline. Helen just seems to plod along with her life not really seeming to go in any particular direction and without any real emphasis on the point to the story. As I said with House Wife Down (the first in the series), as a stand alone book, this isn't such a good read, but when read in the series, especially with the third and fourth books, it becomes a lot better.

      The plot seems to be focused on Helen finding her own feet after her husband died in the first book. She moves into a new flat, starts to make new friends, gets her first job in years, a new boyfriend, and generally starts to enjoy her freedom and independence, which she never had when Robert was alive. She is as much a likeable character as she was in the first and I felt quite sorry for her because it seemed like she didn't really know what she was doing in life by herself and she seemed to come unstuck quite a bit.

      There are a few new characters in this book who do add a lot of humour to the already great characters. Rick, Helen's new boss, is a very funny, successful, overweight, cigar-smoking character who has a lot of very strange duties for Helen. Calling her up at ridiculous hours in the morning and asking her to do things that employees really shouldn't have to do is never off the agenda with Rick, but Helen gladly obliges having nothing better to do with her life, apart from sit at home alone watching the soaps with a microwave meal for one. Her duties working for Rick seem very much like a housewife and after being an actual housewife for fifteen years beforehand, Helen knows how to do this perfectly.

      Salvador (a.k.a Sally) and Paul, a very friendly gay couple, are Helen's new neighbours and they bring a lot of laughter into the book.

      This book is slightly better than the first but still not as good as the others, although I did enjoy reading the entire series all together. To be honest, this is the book that I remember the least out of the four and, as a book by itself, I don't think I'd recommend it. I would recommend the series though as I did enjoy them and they get better and better and lot funnier with each new book.


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