Kelly Park

Jean Stubbs, Author
Jean Stubbs, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-312-07850-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-95269-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-4204-3
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Almost 40, divorced, Flavia Polland is forced to choose a new direction for her life after her lover and partner in their popular London bistro abandons both her and the business in 1978. As this high-spirited and lovingly detailed novel reveals, the process can be painful and hazardous. Flavia rethinks her options at Parc Celli (anglicized to Kelly Park), the venerable but faded Cornwall estate of old friend and man-about-town Humphrey Jarvis. Quickly grasping the possibilities inherent in the old manor house, she suggests turning it into a first-rate inn: gracious, hospitable and, of course, enhanced by her own renowned cooking. Humphrey is ambivalent, but agrees and promises cash. The clannish townspeople, wary at first, warm to Flavia as they recognize the prospect of steady employment. And Humphrey's old friend, roguish Tom Faull, shows up to organize a colorful workforce of idiosyncratic villagers. But, as Stubbs ( Light in Summer ) chronicles Flavia's exploits with wry wit, nothing proceeds as planned. Her tale is a well-orchestrated mix of complex personalities and lush countryside locale linked by ingenious plotting. (July)
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