Thursday, 9 August 2012

Books Read: Janey Fraser - The Au Pair

Source - Received from publisher to review

Apparently anyone can set up an au pair agency.  So when money gets tight, Jilly does exactly that.  But she hadn't reckoned on Marie-France, a sparky French girl, signing up in the hope of finding her father, twenty years after her own mother had been an au pair in the same town.

Then there's Matthew, a confused widower, whose daughter has driven away a string of au pairs.  Can Jilly ever find him the perfect match?

And let's not forget the au pair mafia, including Heidi, Fatima and Antoinette, who 'likes children but not very much'.      

Having read Janey Fraser's first novel, The Playgroup, earlier this year which I really enjoyed, I was pleased to see that I didn't have too long to wait until her second book, The Au Pair, was published.

Although this is set in the same town as The Playgroup we are introduced to a new set of characters but a couple do make a brief reappearance.  

When Jilly's husband is demoted at work creating a reduction in their income, she decides that she needs to go back to work so decides to set up her own au pair agency which she can run from home.  But little does she know about the amount of work that's actually involved or the strain that it will cause on her marriage and her family life. 

The au pairs she recruits come to the UK from various countries throughout Europe and for many different reasons; Marie-France is hoping that she'll be able to track down her English father whereas Fatima is escaping the wrath of her family.  

It's like a juggling act trying to match her au pairs with suitable families but the matches are not always successful and she's constantly having to resolve issues created by both the au pairs and their families.  For most people the idea for getting an au pair is to help them out and make things easier for them but that doesn't seem to be the case for the families in this book.

There are quite a few characters to follow in this book, with the various au pairs and their families, which could have been a bit confusing but actually I didn't find that the case at all.  If I had to pick my favourite characters I would pick two, the French au pair Marie-France and young Lottie who wants her dad all to herself.   

This was an enjoyable book to read with plenty of humour throughout created by the misinterpretation of words and phrases although there were also a few poignant moments too.      

I'd like to thank Arrow for sending me a copy of this book to review.  With two books released within a year I hope it's not going to be too long before she publishes her next book.


  1. I met this writer some years ago, she gave some great tips for writing stories. I am reading this book at the moment and enjoying it, and I enjoyed your review.

    The Little Reader Library

  2. Fab review. I have The Au Pair in my tbr pile so looking forward to it even more now.

  3. It's a fab read with so much humour in it, was hard not to put spoilers in with some of the moments I enjoyed reading.

  4. Great review, cannot wait to read this. You may of helped me decide my next book. Her next book titled parents school is due out March 2013.