A young woman is forced to decide for herself just who she wants to be—and who she wants, period—in this “high-spirited and inventive” witty romance (The Daily Telegraph).
Poppy Carew is at a crossroads. Her longtime boyfriend, Edmund Platt, has just left her. Her father has just passed away, leaving her a substantial sum of money he made betting on the ponies. And the undertaker for the funeral is showing an alarming amount of interest in her, as is a local farmer and a would-be author. In all, Poppy is having a strange time of it.
When her father’s funeral ends with Poppy being whisked off to North Africa by Edmund—who wants her back—Poppy realizes that she must finally take charge of her life and sort through the inheritance, the suitors, and her own flighty feelings, or risk being adrift for good.
Wesley’s winking look at female independence, family ties, infatuation, and love is a “fast and surprising” ride peopled with remarkable characters and unforgettably hilarious situations, proving that Wesley is a genius when it comes to smart romantic comedy (The Times Literary Supplement).
Wesley (see review above) is considerably less successful with this tepid romance, which opens with two events: Poppy Carew's thoroughly detestable lover, Edmund, leaves her for a richer woman; and her father dies. The three men who are to become her suitors attend the funeral reception: Willy, a pig farmer; Victor, a novelist moonlighting as the caterer; and Fergus, the undertaker. Edmund shows up as well, abandons his new love interest and wisks Poppy off to Africa, where she embarks on a series of unlikely adventures. Whereas some of the characters provide moments of amusementas when Victor rescues a fish from drowning at the local fish marketPoppy is a singularly unappealing protagonist whose passivity includes her in the ranks of the worst type of romantic heroine. She allows herself to be taken to Africa by a man she now despises, she must be saved from him when he becomes abusive and she is equally inactive with her rescuer. Although the novel reads quickly and the subplots are mildly diverting, the story is uninspired, the heroine insipid and the ultimate pairings-off predictable.