It seemed like a form of magic to Viva Holloway when, having paid three and six for her advertisement to appear in the September issue of The Lady, she found herself five days later in the restaurant at Derry & Toms in London, waiting for her first client, a Mrs Jonti Sowerby from Middle Wallop in Hampshire.
I wasn’t too sure about this book when I first started to read it. It didn’t quite grab my attention, and I wasn’t sure that I’d like any of the three main characters. But I persevered. And came to really quite enjoy it. The story is set in 1928, and our heroes are off to India. One to start a new life with her fiancée whom she really doesn’t know. One to serve as bridesmaid but really part of the “Fishing Fleet” off looking for a husband. And the third is looking for independence and a new life in an old home.
This last, Viva is the oldest of the three at 25, she has been employed as a chaperone for the other two, as well as to another teenager, the possibly troublesome Guy.
It is these characters that made the novel, because, although they are in many ways stereotypes, they are well-written and well-described. And as I got to know them I became more interested in what was going on in their lives. However the first quarter of the book or so it quite slow. And all of it is quite conversational, which I liked, but others may not.
It is, in essence, an historical romance, detailing how the three women deal with love and men in general. And I had a little bit of an issue with this. Show Spoiler ▼
The ending was a little bit too quick and settled for me, at least for some of the characters, others, well, we’re left wondering how exactly their lives are going to turn out.
Overall it was a good, very readable novel, once you got into it that is.