3 out of 5
Mimi and Ralph have left social climbing, pushy parenting and their marital problems behind them in London, and moved west to the bucolic green depths of the country. Or so they thought. Yes, there’s mud and masses of fresh air, plenty of handsome hayseeds and there’s Rose, Mimi’s new best friend and Dorset’s answer to Martha Stewart. But what should be Shire Heaven is, it turns out, just as tricky to navigate as Notting Hell. There’s low-level conflict between the racehorses in vintage/Diesel/Ralph Lauren and the brood mares in Barbour/Boden, there’s guerrilla warfare between the landowners and eco-warriers and naked hostility between Old Money, New Money and No Money. Yes, in honeybourne, if you don’t have:1) A landscaped garden within 1000 acres (minimum) of prime land2) A helipad for your trophy guests3) An organic farm shop selling 16 sorts of home-made sausages4) Four pony-mad polo-playing children5) A literary festival in your mini-stately6) A bottom that looks smackable in jodhpursThen, well…you’re Mimi basically.And that’s just the start of her problems. Mimi also has a secret. But can she keep it?
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin (January 1, 2008)
I absolutely loved the first in this series, Notting Hell, so as you can imagine I was a little disappointed with this one. Shire Hell is Notting Hell except everything takes place in the country. There are the same characters with the same issues and just a few of the clever quips I loved in Notting Hell. One label does stand out when Mimi describes trophy wives as “atrophy wives” when she is discussing the minds of these women. It was a decent read but didn’t get me as excitied as the first one I read by this author.