Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS Shady People in the Sun

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS Shady People in the Sun

Article excerpt

Carla McKay's The Folly of French Kissing (Gibson Square, £7.99) is a very funny, cynical tale about British expatriates in the Languedoc. The blurb says 'Toujours Provence meet s Miss Marple', though the heroine, Judith Hay, is less maidenly than the nosy-parker of St Mary Mead.

A middle-aged schoolmistress, she flees to the Languedoc because it is beautiful, because Montpellier has an English bookshop (called Wuthering Heights) and because the property is affordable: but also because she has a secret to put behind her. She's been driven out of her job, teaching English at a well-known English boarding-school, because of an alleged affair with the headmistress. As she starts to settle into ex-pat life, Judith realises that almost everyone she meets has come to France to hide something in their past, and the deft plot unweaves the tangles of their tapestry. …

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