“ Author: Catherine Alliot / Genre: Fiction „
This is a review of a book written in 1998 by Catherine Alliott titled Rosie Meadows Regrets... which has been on the bookshelf for literally years before I read it. I had read another book by the same author a few years ago which I quite enjoyed so must have picked this one up after reading that.
A bit about
In Rosie Meadows Regrets... the main protagonist is of course Rosie, who has been married unhappily to Harry for a couple of years. She feels downtrodden and disrespected by him and the only saving grace is their son Ivo, conceived on their honeymoon and now two years old. After a series of unfortunate events involving Harry being drunk, the final straw breaks on the proverbial camel and Rosie decides once and for all that she is going for a divorce. On the steps of the solicitor's she bumps into a strikingly handsome man whom you can't help but think is going to feature later on in the book... and sure enough Joss turns up as Rosie's new landlord when she finds her own place for her and Ivo to live.
In addition to Rosie, Harry, Ivo and Joss, there is Rosie's Mum, Dad, sister (Philly) and her husband Miles, friend Alice and a few of Harry's posh chums who Rosie can't really stand. There's also the cute but too young supermarket assistant that appears to have taken a shine to Rosie and she dodges his amorous attempts admirably. Joss has three kids whom Ivo immediately bonds with and Rosie makes friends with Vi the housekeeper and Martha the nanny.
Early on in the book Harry dies (this is right at the beginning) and the book turns from unhappy housewife to a whodunit as Rosie is hauled in by the police for questioning. As a side line she discovers that Harry has squandered all their money gambling and also re-mortgaged both properties up to the hilt. In short, she now owes a lot of money to a lot of people. Luckily the landlord is sympathetic to her and halves the rent on her ramshackle cottage that sits in his grounds.
For me, the first 60 pages dragged a little and at 550 pages, I hoped that the pace would pick up a bit and luckily it did. I found myself turning the pages at a fast pace, desperate to know what would happen next in Rosie's misadventures! I liked Aliott's humorous style of writing and found that the book flowed really well. I sort of guessed some of the outcomes as the book went on but didn't work it all out so that was nice to piece together as the book progressed. Some of the characters in the book were hard to weigh up, for example Rosie's sister Philly. I was struggling to work out whose side she was on, as she seemed to go running to their mum all the time with gossip.
I enjoyed reading 'Rosie Meadows Regrets...' a lot (after the first 60 pages) and felt that there was just the right amount of characters in the book to keep you guessing without it getting confusing. I liked how Rosie shunned all the 'la-di-da' bunch of Harry's friends and their drunken dinner parties, it just wasn't her idea of fun and I don't blame her. She gets herself into little scrapes at all times but still manages to provide for her child Ivo which as a single mother must have been difficult. I would recommend this book as a bit of light hearted reading, brilliant as a holiday read and a bit of escapism from reality.
Review of 'Rosie Meadows Regrets' a novel by Catherine Alliott
I am reviewing the paperback version of this book, Published by Headline, 576 pages, Cover price £6.99, ISBN 0755336920, Genre:- Modern Fiction.
Available from high street book shops and various on line outlets. www.amazon.co.uk are currently offering this novel from £6.00 new or from 0.01p used.
Rosie has been married to Harry Meadows for three years, they have one child, a son called Ivo. Harry Meadows is a large, bluff 39 year old man who spends his life socialising with his upper crust, snobbish chums. Harry's idea of bliss is a country house weekend with lots of shooting, bridge, alcohol and riotous horseplay. If this is unavailable, he is content to drive down to Oxford to stay with Rosie's parents for the weekend, where he makes free with their food and drink, and entertains Rosie's rather silly, social climbing mother. Harry is always able to recount amusing anecdotes to Mrs Cavendish, name dropping unashamedly, to impress her.
Rosie lives with Harry in their London home, Harry is waiting to inherit a crumbling mansion from his uncle Bertram, a rascal of an old man. He has no job, he spends his days drinking, sleeping, eating and visiting his gentleman's club with his friend Boffy. Harry makes a living from the properties he has already inherited. Shortly after the marriage, Rosie discovers that Harry's property portfolio actually consists of two houses, the one they live in and another which is rented out.
Rosie had married Harry on the rebound after being let down by a previous boyfriend. She had met Harry at a country house party where she had landed a temporary cooks job through an employment agency. Rosie and Harry had married very shortly afterwards, much to her mother's delight, as Harry has tenuous family connections with royalty, or so she thinks. Rosie being the youngest of the Cavendish children, had been rather a worry to her mother, who wanted her to do as well as her sister Philly, who had married a wealthy farmer, Miles.
When Ivo is two years old, Rosie has had enough of Harry's old fashioned ways, his rudeness to people he considers beneath him, his drinking and his total disinterest in her and their little boy. Things come to head when Harry gets monumentally drunk at a dinner party at Boffy's house and on returning home, urinates all over the babysitter's coat when he mistakes the hall cupboard for the downstairs lavatory. Rosie decides enough is enough, and she makes her mind up to divorce Harry.
The following day she visits Alice, an old school friend who Harry disapproves of and pours out her woes. She and Alice hatch a plan for Rosie to take over the country cottage that Alice and her husband Michael have the use of. The cottage is close to Rosie's parents and to her sister. The pair decide that Rosie should simply leave Harry and move into the cottage. Alice makes arrangements with the owner of the cottage, Joss, for Rosie to take over the tenancy.
Rosie and Harry are due to visit her parents the following Friday, Harry has already set off for Rosie's parents with Ivo as Rosie had made a lame excuse about needing some urgent shopping in order to make enquiries with a solicitor about a divorce.
Before returning home, Rosie pops into the local supermarket and is followed home by Tim, a young, well spoken checkout operative, who seems to have taken a shine to her. He persuades her to let him help with unpacking her shopping and takes some items upstairs much to Rosie's annoyance. As he is putting them away in her bathroom, to her horror, Harry arrives home, having forgotten something.
Tim pretends to be a plumber, but Harry is suspicious and orders him out of the house. The couple then set off to drive to Oxford where Ivo has been left with his grandparents. Harry is in a furious temper and eventually Rosie tells him that she wants a divorce. Harry will not hear of it and they have a most uncomfortable journey. Harry threatens Rosie that he will fight her for custody of Ivo and make life very difficult for her if she goes ahead with her divorce plans.
At Rosie's parents house, Harry gets very drunk on the Saturday evening and is so insulting to Rosie's family that her brother in law, Miles, knocks him out. The following morning, Harry acts as though nothing has happened and demands his breakfast.
After breakfast they return to London, Rosie has planned to escape to Alice's cottage the next day and is devastated when Harry seems unwell. She persuades him to go to his club for lunch as usual and as soon as he is out of the way, she bundles Ivo and their possessions into her car and returns to Oxfordshire and the cottage.
The landlord, Joss has made arrangements for the cottage to be aired as it had been shut up for sometime. Rosie finds it is very basic but practical and as she is getting settled in, Joss arrives to break some shocking news, having been called by Rosie's sister.
Rosie's husband is dead.
To find out how he died and what happens next, I'm afraid you'll have to read the novel for yourself!
==~~About the Author~~==
Catherine Alliott was born and raised in Hertfordshire. After attending Warwick university, she moved to London, where she worked as a copywriter in advertising. She now lives again in Hertfordshire with her husband, a barrister, and their three children.
Catherine's first novel, The Old-Girl Network, was chosen by WH Smith for their fresh talent promotion in 1994 and became an instant best seller across the country. Her subsequent eight novels have all met with resounding success.
My source for the above information was the author's website:- www.catehrinealliott.com
==~~My Thoughts and Conclusion~~==
'Rosie Meadows Regrets' is a real page turner of a novel, I found the first couple of chapters a little heavy going to be honest, but once the plot gets under way, this is an excellent novel.
I had read one or two Catherine Alliott novels before reading 'Rosie Meadows Regrets' and felt that the author had created a masterpiece with this particular book. The novel compares very favourably with her previous books.
The characters are very well drawn, Rosie, the central character is a likeable, if a bit downtrodden, heroine. I felt like telling her to dump the odious Harry even before it became apparent theta she was going to.
Older sister Philly was a complete contrast to Rosie which made for interesting reading as the simmering sibling rivalry between the sisters bubbled up. Landlord Joss, was the ubiquitous man of mystery that books of this genre always seem to have!
Rosie's parents, particularly her mother, made for amusing reading as the slightly batty Mrs Cavendish made excursions into psychic activities and assured Rosie that Harry was happy in the afterlife and had embarked on a new hobby of napkin folding. The mind boggles!
The novel is marketed as a romantic comedy, it is funny in parts but not hilariously so. I found the plot remarkably fast paced, it twists and turns as the story progresses. In my review the plot section may look a little on the heavy side, but I have barely scratched the surface in my write up. The plot is superb in my opinion, it certainly keeps the reader on their toes as Rosie's new life as a widow unfolds revealing the dark depths of her late husband, a man whom it appears she really didn't know at all.
'Rosie Meadows Regrets' is an absorbing piece of modern fiction from a popular British author and a book I would certainly recommend to others.
Thank you for reading
©brittle1906 January 2011
N.B. My reviews may appear on other sites under the same user name.
This book is another great read from Catherine Alliot. After reading a couple of her books I've become hooked and this is no exception. Some parts of the storyline are a bit whacky and unrealistic but that is what makes it so funny.
Rosie Meadows has been married to Harry for 3 years. She wasn't really commited to the relationship from the beginning but it was the start of what she thought could be a nice cosy and easy life. However, further down the line she is beginning to realise that there is more to life than posh lunches she doesn't really want to attend, shooting weekends and bridge parties. She has had enough of playing the loyal wife in a social scene that is totally not her!!! Rosie leaves her husband and embarkes on a new life but as with all of Catherine's books things don't really go as planned for her.
There are many twists and turns along the way for Rosie, some as I have already stated are a little unrealistic but that just adds to the pure fun of this book. It is a light hearted 'chick lit' book which will keep you interested and laughing right until the very last page.
This is the second Catherine Alliott book I have read and I have thoroughly enjoyed both. Her books are a very light hearted read, some would say holiday reading but most enjoyable if you dont want something too serious. The main character in this book is Rosie Meadows and you follow her life for a while, meeting her family and friends along the way. There are times when I became a little frustrated with her and the way she did things but I guess that is only to be expected! We cannot all be the same!
There are twists and turns and just as you think Rosies life is going well there is a hiccup, when she is taken into interrogation by the police.
This is a very funny, romantic novel with a down to earth approach. It is also by an author I have come to like and will certainly be looking out for any new novels by her. Highly recommended bedtime read.
There is a common character in all the Catherine Alliott books I have read so far. She goes by a different name in each one, of course, but she’s always the hapless underdog that triumphs in the end. Always the butt of her family’s jokes or criticisms, and always with a slightly off-beat, ney oddball approach to life, she nevertheless manages to snag the most handsome (usually rich) and talented man in the story by the time you reach the last page. Rosie Meadows is such a character, and though the character is familiar from previous books, and the plot twists are, to say the least, far-fetched, nevertheless this is, once more, a very good read. You cannot help but empathise with Rosie, indeed, at times, you find yourself wishing that YOU are Rosie, and the laughs are genuine belly-ones. Catherine Alliott has a real knack for embarrassing you on public transport, or on the sidelines at your child’s swimming lesson, for it is impossible, sometimes, to contain a loud snort or guffaw at some of her cracking one-liners, or the pictures she conjures up. Around two-thirds of the way through, the story gets a bit more serious – long-winded even, while we are subjected to the twists and turns surrounding the central plot – that of “who killed Harry Meadows?”, Rosie’s fat and fatuous husband. However, that said, this is still an excellent read, great for lifting your spirits on a dull day.
After two years in a secure relationship, Rosie is starting to havw second thoughts.