Ill-suited country mums reinvent themselves as crunchy cosmetics duo.
Maddy Hoare and Izzie Stock left behind friends and intellectual stimulation when they departed London. Honoring their husbands’ wishes to settle down in the outer burbs, the heroines set about reinventing themselves as proper country mums. They do their best to adapt to the tedium of play dates, gardening and redecorating, but they sorely miss the intelligent conversation and vibrant social life that London provided. Feeling like outcasts in their new environs, these two spunky gals latch on to each other. A fatal car accident leaves Maddy a widow with a heap of debt. Izzie meets financial trouble when her husband is unable to rebound after getting sacked from his advertising job. The women start a cosmetics line called Paysage Enchanté in an effort to provide for their families. The premiere offering is a foul-smelling potion that works wonders on aging skin. The local country ladies grab it up and clamor for more. A savvy PR friend advises Izzie and Maddy to concoct a wholesome and organic image to boost sales. In order to make a go of their new company, Maddy and Izzie agree to adopt its earthy image. Bye-bye, cigarettes, stilettos and make-up; hello, clean country living. The climax involves a potential windfall as a large American firm makes a buy-out offer. Working mothers might enjoy the accurate portrayal of the difficulties women face juggling career and family; as sales start to take off, the ladies tend to neglect their broods. Written in tandem by Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders, the book suffers from long-windedness (too much time is spent talking about clothing labels and recounting calories consumed). The romance portion, meanwhile, is underserved, and the characters are thinly drawn.
Overindulges in prose by the pound; a verbal diet is recommended.