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When life is not all outstanding

Outstanding Book Cover Outstanding
Kathryn Flett
women's fiction, contemporary fiction
Quercus
2016

Eve Sturridge, a high-flying divorcee and mother of two girls, is head teacher of Ivy House, an Ofsted 'Outstanding' prep school in Sussex. Eve is passionate about her school and its pupils.

When Danish power couple, Stefan and Anette Sorensen, jet in and choose Ivy House over other schools, Eve is justifiably proud. The Sorensons are A-listers who bring an aura of style and power to Ivy House.

Zoe is Eve's pretty seventeen-year-old daughter. Unlike her mother, Zoe's not so keen on school. She prefers sending nude selfies to her boyfriend.

When glamorous Stefan Sorensen proposes that Zoe interns at his company and invites her to accompany him to New York, Zoe is over the moon with excitement, while Eve is too focused on her job to smell danger . . .

This is story about friends and education and children. Like other Kathryn Flett books it is a gentle read but not predictable in all aspects. Things happen that set the lives of these women and their families off onto new tangents.

Eve and Gail and Annette are all characters that struggle in their personal lives yet their lives intertwine more than realise by the end of the story.

It explores a number of important issues relating to modern behaviour amongst teenagers and couples and the single woman. It demonstrates that one solution does not necessarily fit all in so many aspects of our lives and thus we must never condemn how others have chosen to live their lives.

The writing style is very British and is set in an area I know well – Hastings is actually full of ‘junk’ not quite antique shops and I have spent many hours exploring them and making great finds – though not buying everything of course… and just a quick PS for those not familiar with British geography, the town of Battle is named after the Battle of Hastings whereby the Normans invaded and we became ruled by the French.. Lovely area with great coastline and cute towns.

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