Imogen is fifty when her husband of over twenty-five years announces he has found himself a new and younger woman; a fast-tracker, as Imogen dubs her. This is a girl who is out to get man who has already established himself and made money, rather than marry someone of her own age and have to struggle their way to the top together.
Not only does Imogen lose her husband, she is left with no choice but to move from the family home and re-jig her life completely. It’s a daunting task; the children have flown the nest and she hasn’t worked in years.
Alone in her new little home on the edge of Epping Forest Imogen browses the local newspaper and comes across an ad from an employment agency. She telephones, makes an appointment, cobbles together something to wear and, for the first time in a very long time, compiles a CV.
The adventure begins.
From here the story takes Imogen to her interview, where Mr Jenkins ( call me Andrew) invites her to talk him through all the jobs, and there are quite a few, that she has previously undertaken.
Each chapter then describes unlikely and varied forms of employment. There is a lot of humour in the writing, but also some pathos too.
I won’t reveal the ending but, though it came as no surprise, it was just what was needed for this story, with a little comeuppance for the dastardly husband thrown in.
Reading a book like Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin reminds me that I should do this more often -I love thrillers and dark stories but a little lightheartedness, occasionally, goes a very long way.
For my children’s feature this week, rather than a single review I would like to pay homage to the Mr Men and Little Miss series by the late, Roger Hargreaves.
These little books were a staple in our household during the eighties when our children were very young. The illustrations are simple and funny and the stories are just the right length to keep a young child interested all the way through without too much fidgeting.
I kept a few of our original books and began reading them to our grandchildren. They love looking on the back of the books to see the other titles in the Mr Men series and so I have added to our library and now we have a whole stack of them again.
If you enjoy reading aloud the Mr Men books are ideal. Mr Noisy is a great character. All the people in Wobbletown are frightened of him because he shouts so loudly even when he is only buying a loaf of bread.
When most people sneeze you can hear them in the next room
When Mr Noisy sneezes you can hear him in the next country!
From Mr Happy:-
If you’ve never seen a mouse smile or a cat, or a dog, or even a worm – go to Happy land
From Mr Forgetful:-
It was such a lovely day Mr Forgetful decided to walk down to the village to buy a stamp for a letter he’d written three weeks ago but had forgotten to post…
I really do love these little books and recommend you try them. Even the covers make me smile. Have a fun Friday!
Spider School is written by the author of the hugely popular Horrid Henry series and illustrated by the brilliant Tony Ross.
kate wakens on her first day at a new school. It’s a big day and she doesn’t want to go, so much so that she gets out of the wrong side of bed and this is where the trouble starts.
Kate is late and she can’t find her school clothes. Her mum is less than helpful and bundles her off in old clothes leaving her at the gates to find her own way to class. There are no toilets, the teacher is a gorilla who likes to read comics and the dinner lady is serving spiders for lunch.
Load of silly fun here and a perfect ending as, after running home to bed, Kate gets out of the right side and finds herself in a lovely school full of nice kids and teachers – and no spiders for lunch.
This is an early reader that, I expect, will appeal to a lot of five and six year olds who are not so keen on princesses and fairy castles.