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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A Desirable Residence by Madeleine Wickham. Liz and Jonathan Chambers were in trouble. Mortgage trouble. They'd stretched themselves to busting with their new exciting project - well, Liz thought it exciting - buying and managing the Silchester Tutorial College, and now couldn't sell their old house.
Here they were, stuck with two mortgages, mounting debts and a miserable adolescent daughter who hadn't wanted to mov Liz and Jonathan Chambers were in trouble. Here they were, stuck with two mortgages, mounting debts and a miserable adolescent daughter who hadn't wanted to move anyway. Then Marcus Witherstone came into their lives - and at first it seemed he would solve all their problems.
Marcus, senior partner in Silchester's leading estate agency, was large, assured, and wore an expensive overcoat. He knew the perfect tenants from London who would rent their old house - glamorous PR girl Ginny and almost-famous Piers.
Everything was going to be OK. But soon Marcus found himself involved with Liz in a way he'd never intended. Keeping his adulterous trysts secret from Anthea was uncomfortably easy - most of the time her head was firmly buried in Improve your Child's IQ.
Meanwhile, as Liz was lost in blissful dreams of Marcus, Jonathan was left to run the tutorial college. Neither of them had time to notice that teenage Alice was developing a desperate passion for the tenants, Piers and Ginny. Everyone seemed to be entangled with everyone else, in the most awkward possible way. And as events closed in on him, Marcus began to realise that some deceptions are just a bit too close to home.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published November 1st by Black Swan first published June 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Desirable Residence , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about A Desirable Residence. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 2. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of A Desirable Residence.
What an utter waste of time. The consolidated three hours it took for me to complete this tome of one-dimensional, unlikeable characters is minutes I'd like back. There are seven characters; none of which seemed remotely convincing or valid. Most were vapid and so distasteful I wanted them to be caught out on their nefarious deeds. One character, Liz, was especially heinous and off-putting.
I loathed that character. Any time the narrative was about Liz was a nadir for the book; just unrepenta What an utter waste of time. Any time the narrative was about Liz was a nadir for the book; just unrepentantly selfish, awful and unsympathetic.
This is certainly a misfire from an author who usually writes warmhearted, lovable characters with interesting and personal storylines. Nothing really clicked or felt more than average in scope or detail; the love affairs aren't steamy, the revelations aren't that shocking, and the last quarter of the novel lacks any real resolution for ANY of the characters.
A very frustrating, pointless read. View all 7 comments. Mar 02, Ciara rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in View 1 comment. Jun 28, Diana rated it did not like it. I feel like this book was so abruptly ended with no real tying up of loose ends. The characters were very one-dimensional. As much as I became initially engaged in Madeleine Wickham's A Desirable Residence , all the attraction here is centered on unlikeable, misanthropic people finally getting their just desserts in the end.
From scheming, bored Marcus to ungrateful, uncharitable Liz, I struggled to find one character with whom connect in this British novel. Bratty Alice couldn't have been more unjust to Jonathan, her bumbling but sweet father, and more than once in the book I found myself wanting to reach in and slap As much as I became initially engaged in Madeleine Wickham's A Desirable Residence , all the attraction here is centered on unlikeable, misanthropic people finally getting their just desserts in the end.
Bratty Alice couldn't have been more unjust to Jonathan, her bumbling but sweet father, and more than once in the book I found myself wanting to reach in and slap her. She's a self-absorbed teenager, yes, and I could respect the fact that her behavior was realistic , but who wants to spend pages reading about a rude, deluded year-old?
As she began forcing her presence on Ginny, Piers and Duncan, I became more and more agitated. Couldn't she see she wasn't wanted? That she was intruding? That she was annoying? Even if the new residents of her old house didn't feel that way, I certainly did. What could have saved this book from becoming a soulless mess was a dash of humor, warmth or humanity.
Demonstrating some growth. Some maturity. Some sincerity. And though I did find myself smiling inwardly toward the end at an unexpected turn of events, for the most part?
The bad people stayed bad. The selfish people stayed selfish. Marcus redeemed himself slightly in my eyes, but Liz -- Liz, one of our central characters -- didn't get what she deserved. I wanted a blow-out, a reckoning. I wanted an epic battle complete with tears and divulsions. But I was disappointed. Wickham is better known to most of us as Sophie Kinsella, the nom de plume under which she wrote the best-selling Shopaholic series.
While her writing is fluid and enjoyable, her characters -- the anchors of any story -- were terrible. You won't find me complaining about any "distance" between myself and these people, because I definitely felt like I got to know them through the course of A Desirable Residence.
The real question is would I actually want to know them? And the answer to that is, of course, a resounding no. With so much great women's fiction and chick lit out there just waiting to be devoured, I can't recommend this one. It was boring, lifeless and grating -- though I did manage to finish it, so I guess that says something. I didn't hate it -- but didn't love it, either.
For good British chick lit, look no further than Jill Mansell -- and don't waste your time reading mediocre books. Mar 15, Melita rated it it was amazing. All is well, I thought. This one looks good. I read the book by borrowing it from my friend when we're on a class trip.
We were on a bus, and I am dead bored. I dont want to sleep, so I asked her whether I can read her book. She said yes and I am so grateful for that!
A DESIRABLE RESIDENCE
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A Desirable Residence : A Novel of Love and Real Estate
Liz and Jonathan are in trouble. They can't sell their old house. Here they are, stuck with two mortgages, mounting debts and a miserable adolescent daughter who hadn't wanted to move anyway. Then it seems Marcus Witherstone will solve all their problems. He knows the perfect tenants from London who will rent their old house - glamorous PR girl Ginny and almost-famous Piers.
A Desirable Residence
Though it sours a bit by the end, this British novel of manners and mores from the author of The Tennis Party p. Enthusiastic Liz Chambers convinces her docile husband Jonathan to sell their family home and purchase the local tutorial college. She hopes to turn the cozy, uninspired academy into a modern, high turn-over, high-tech prep school. Which sounds like a solid plan, if only they weren't already sinking under extensive business loans. Into their distress wanders Marcus Witherstone, an affluent estate agent who, with genuine sympathy for Liz's angered desperation, pulls some strings at the bank, arranging, among other things, for the rental of their much-mortgaged house. Explained rather blithely as just one of those things, Marcus and Liz begin an illicit affair that seems to be based not so much on passion as on mutual boredom.