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Publisher's Summary

“You’re not doing very much at the moment, darling. I don’t suppose you’d care to housesit for a while?”

Thus begins the irresistible story of two fixeruppers - an old house and a young woman - and their efforts to recapture their true luster.

When Hetty Longden, freshly dumped and brokenhearted, agrees to look after her greatuncle’s dilapidated mansion in the English countryside, she’s at something of a lifetime low. With no job, no lover, no prospects, and no particular talent for resuscitating crumbling estates, she hopes for nothing more than some good oldfashioned escape. What she finds includes a cast of quirky and everpresent neighbors, a couple of SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys); some very humorless bank officials; a cat and two disarming little canines; one gracious, dilapidated, romantic old house; and, just maybe, enough elbow grease to polish everything up again.

A Sunday Times (London) best seller that’s as inviting as an elegant old house full of unexplored rooms, after a good scrubbingdown, of course, Stately Pursuits is the funniest, smartest, and warmest read of the season.

©1997 Katie Fforde (P)1998 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Charming…Enormously enjoyable…Like listening to Cole Porter or watching The Philadelphia Story.” (Newsday)
“Fforde’s appeal is her ability to reproduce the eccentricities of everyday life.” (Times (London))
“A delightful, unabashedly unpretentious love yarn.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyable story. Technically challenged.

Would you consider the audio edition of Stately Pursuits to be better than the print version?

I enjoyed the story and it was read well. My only issue was that it wasn't spliced together well and the narritive would jump from the middle of one sentance to the middle or beginning of another. Souding like it skipped, like a record would sometimes do.

What other book might you compare Stately Pursuits to and why?

I can't think of a particular book. Theme is a woman growing up, finding self and finding true love. So far the 2 books I have listened too from the Katie Fforde have same theme.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

good and cute

I really liked this book -
Katie Fforde has a way of describing the characters with just enough bad qualities that they seem real to the reader. I like books when the sweet female lead takes charge--


I would recomend this book and plan to listen to others by Fforde

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • K.
  • 03-25-12

A charming British 'cozy' romance

Hetty doesn't have much going for her at the beginning of the book; her boyfriend has dumped her in a particularly painful way, and since he was also her boss, she's out of work too. She finds herself in an elderly relative's country estate, trying to get ready for the annual spring open house tours while he is ill. Soon the entire village is helping Hetty and dreading the arrival of the heir, who wants to pull the house down.

I found the characters appealing and the dialog surprisingly realistic and in parts extremely funny. The description of the house and its revival was charming. The pace was a little slow at times, but I enjoyed Hetty's progress as she acquired skills and confidence.

There's a hint of Bridget Jones, a little Cinderella, and maybe a nod to the houses of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. I thought the narrator was excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

classic Katie Fforde

Would you listen to Stately Pursuits again? Why?

It's the kind of story that I would only listen to once but a fun listen.

What did you like best about this story?

The story is light yet interesting enough to keep you listening. The story plus narration made it worthwhile

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

It took couple of minutes to get into the way the narrator spoke/ read but soon as I heard all the different voices I understood her better and really appreciated at the end.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no little bites as escape was good

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story, bad file

Any additional comments?

Love the story but the recording has several skips, as if the CD is skipping. Downloading again didn't help. Checked out the book from Overdrive and it has the same problem. Bah.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Decent story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This was a nice story overall, good for a long drive to some vacation time.

Would you recommend Stately Pursuits to your friends? Why or why not?

Hettie and the other characters are mostly believable, but the jumps in the narrative keep the listener saying "wha...?" at the start of a new chapter. I appreciated a modern setting of a nod to Jane Eyre and her fictional contemporaries, though.

Have you listened to any of Roe Kendall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

haven't heard Roe's other performances, but I thought it was well done with the multiple characters & personalities easily distinguishable.

Do you think Stately Pursuits needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No need for a follow-up book. Hettie got her act together, it was a happy ending.

Any additional comments?

There were MANY skips in the audio - very distracting!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • SUZANNE
  • MIAMI, fl, United States
  • 04-30-12

GOOD FOR A LONG CAR JOURNEY

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

NOT A GREAT STORY IT WAS A BIT DULL. I WAS EXPECTING MORE, IT WASN'T THE FUNNY ROMANCE I EXPECTED.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Loy
  • Benbrook, TX, United States
  • 04-01-12

good and cute

I really liked this book -
Katie Fforde has a way of describing the characters with just enough bad qualities that they seem real to the reader. I like books when the sweet female lead takes charge--


I would recomend this book and plan to listen to others by Fforde