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Claire Sandy lives in Surrey with a husband and a daughter and loves lots of things, such as baking, reading, writing, eating, chatting about matters of global importance with her nine year old, dressing up her dog and inventing new things to do with gin. She's worked at many things - advertising, radio jingles, a wool shop - and thanks her lucky stars that writing What Would Mary Berry Do? involved every single item on her list of loved things.
Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee. Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?' Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls ...Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling souffle that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour? This is a delicious feast of a funny novel, perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Allison Pearson. *** This is a work of fiction, in no way endorsed by Mary Berry, and where neither Mary Berry herself nor her recipes feature. ***
Funny, feisty and all-too-true, A Not Quite Perfect Family by Claire Sandy is for anyone who loves their family so much they'd just like a weekend away from them. Fern Carlile has a lot on her plate. It's a good thing she loves her big, imperfectly perfect family, because she's the one who washes their pants, de-fleas the dog and runs her own business. A hearty meal is the one thing that brings the Carliles together - but over the course of a year, the various courses also pull them apart. Around the table sits an eight-year-old militant feminist, a pair of teenage accidental parents, and a cantankerous OAP. Fern's husband needs an extra seat for his spectacular midlife crisis. Will Fern's marriage be over by the time coffee is served? Perhaps she'll give in and have the hot new dish that looks so tempting. Decisions, decisions . . .
Everybody wants it to snow at Christmas . . . Don't they? Asta's plane touches down in Ireland as the first flakes of snow begin to settle. As the weather worsens, it turns what should be a flying visit into a snowed-in Yuletide with her chaotic family. Asta fled her childhood village years ago, with a secret hidden deep within her. That secret is now a feisty sixteen-year-old - Kitty - who's keen to meet her long-lost relatives. It seems there are many family mysteries waiting to be unwrapped, along with the presents under the tree . . . Missing the man she left behind in London, yet drawn to a man she meets in Ireland, Asta is caught in an emotional snowstorm. Maybe this Christmas Asta will find a cure for her long-broken heart? Funny and heartwarming, Claire Sandy's Snowed in for Christmas is a festive tale about family life.
'Holidays are about surviving the gaps between one meal and another.' For one long hot summer in Devon, three families are sharing one very big house in the country. The Herreras: made up of two tired parents, three grumbling children and one promiscuous dog; the Littles: he's loaded (despite two divorces and five kids), she's gorgeous, but maybe the equation for a truly happy marriage is a bit more complicated than that; and the Browns, who seem oddly jumpy around people, but especially each other. By the pool, new friendships blossom; at the Aga door, resentments begin to simmer. Secret crushes are formed and secret cigarettes cadged by the teens, as the adults loosen their inhibitions with litres of white wine and start to get perhaps a little too honest ... Mother hen to all, Evie Herreras has a life-changing announcement to make, one that could rock the foundations of her family. But will someone else beat her to it?