A winning debut about a group of British friends who decide to drop out of the rat race and move to the country—with predictably disastrous results.
Emmy, Niall, and Sita are old pals who live in London and think of rural life largely in terms of wedding receptions at posh churches in picturesque villages. After one of these, they share cabs back to the train station for the ride home and arrive just in time to miss their train—which goes on to crash en route in one of most horrific railway disasters in decades. It looks like a sign, especially in light of the fact that Emmy has just inherited a manor house in Cornwall. So the three friends set off to make new lives for themselves in the country. Accompanying them are Sita’s husband Jonathan, her two children, Niall’s girlfriend Kat, and Emmy’s daughter Maya. They pool their funds to finance certain major repairs and settle down to daily life in what is, in effect, a yuppie commune. Naturally, there are problems. Nobody really likes Kat, who is American, dimwitted, and oversexed; even Niall breathes a sigh of relief when she returns to London. Emmy, who had an affair with Niall years ago and is still in love with him, finds their enforced intimacy hard to bear. Niall, for his part, is uncomfortably aware that people think Emmy’s daughter (who looks very much like him) is his. Sita becomes annoyed that Jonathan is spending so much of his time restoring an abandoned chapel nearby—in the company of an attractive young lady from the Historic Buildings Association. And Maya just wishes her mother would tell her who her father is. Whatever made these people think they could get on together? Just chalk it up to the naïveté of city folk.
Witty, deft, and delightful, with a light touch in the tradition of Cold Comfort Farm.