Magazine article The Spectator

BOO K E N D S Trying to Keep Afloat

Magazine article The Spectator

BOO K E N D S Trying to Keep Afloat

Article excerpt

The un l ikely heroine o f Mave Fellowes's Chaplin & Company (Cape, £16.99) is a highly-strung, posh-speaking, buttoned-up 18-yearold with the unhelpful name Odel ine Mi lk . Ut terly f r iend le s s , she dislikes both humans and animals, but she has one huge, far-reaching pr ivate pa s sion . She want s to be a m ime a r t i st - l ike the g reat Ma rcel Marceau. To launch her career, she ha s sold her mother 's hou se in Su s sex and bought a scru f fy old canal boat called Chaplin & Company, currently moored in Little Ven ice .

In the flashbacks that follow, we lea rn about Odel ine's m i serable childhood - albeit lit up by a few eureka moments - along with the history of her new floating home and the pa st l ive s o f her immed iate neighbou r s on the cana l. …

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