This is a lighthearted, enjoyable and engaging read, one Anglophiles, in particular, will enjoy.
Constance Harding is a middle-aged housewife in Surrey, England, who so wants a perfect life, but is continually confounded by her grown children and husband. If only she could get her son to settle down! Why he is so averse to mum writing a personal ad for him is something she cannot comprehend. And what did she do so wrong to deserve a daughter who dresses like a strumpet and whose friends look like vagrants? And to top it all, the Lithuanian housekeeper is most unsuitable; her underwear keeps appearing in her husband's study (to dry?) and her slovenly housekeeping leaves much to be desired.
Hilarious misadventures ensue when Constance tries to play matchmaker for friends and family, with her good intentions always backfiring.
The narrative is written in the form of a "blog" that Constance has taken up at the urging of her daughter, so now she has the world wide web to talk to instead of just her pet parrot and her bell-ringing club members.
If anything, Constance will remind you of Hyacinth Bucket ("Bouquet") of the British comedy series "Keeping Up Appearances." Yet this book has a bit more depth as our heroine finds a wider world than the web when she flies from her chintz-filled chocolate box house for her own day in the sun. That would be to Argentina, to track down her stray husband trying to find himself.
This is a story for all of us trying to cope with the realities of a modern world: for parents who tear their hair out with how their offspring turn out, for wives whose husbands never do the right thing, friends who haven't read the friendship handbook--and it will have you laugh at this family and perhaps your own as you realize no family is perfect--and that accepting them as they are is the key to truly happy families.
Recommended by Betsy Schroeder