Outstanding by Kathryn Flett
|Outstanding by Kathryn Flett|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Intelligent women's fiction which looks at such varied topics as revenge porn, the case for special needs to be addressed in schools and adoption by same sex couples. A good, engaging read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: April 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Ivy House is a preparatory school with an 'outstanding' Ofsted report. Eve Sturridge is the head teacher and she puts heart and soul into making certain that it's the best that it can possibly be - well, as far as she's allowed to by the owner. But it looks as though she's getting into the big time when Stefan and Anette Sorensen (A-list billionaires) choose Ivy House for their son and daughter. There's another bonus too: the Sorensens run a hedge fund and Eve's seventeen-year-old daughter Zoe is keen to have a career in finance. What could be more natural than that some work experience could be on offer?
The snag is that Zoe is not an innocent seventeen year old. School doesn't figure highly on her list of priorities and she'd much rather bunk off and do some horizontal jogging with boyfriend Rob. They're into nude selfies and a few videos which are even less discreet. Zoe looks and acts older than her age and it was almost inevitable that she would catch the wandering eye of Stefan Sorensen and when Eve's asked for permission for Zoe to fly to New York with Sorensen as part of her work experience she's distracted and doesn't see the danger signs.
I read Outstanding if not in one sitting then over the course of a couple of long train journeys, which would normally have dragged outrageously, but this time they didn't. Part of the reason was the character of Eve Sturridge. She's 53 and she's been a single mother of two girls since she and husband Simon split up some years before. He's with a new partner now - Ed - but Simon and Eve have remained on very good terms and not just for the sake of the two girls. Simon has some stunning new for the family - he and Ed are going to adopt Jordan, a boy who has had a difficult start in life.
Written down like that the story sounds just a little bit implausible, but trust me, when you read you'll be pulled into the story and you'll be rooting for the Sturridges - all of them. Even when Zoe is a bit wayward you know it's just that she's a slightly immature and you sympathise with her for the way that things have turned out.
I got to the end far too soon and Eve Sturridge has kept wandering into my mind in the couple of days since I finished reading - that's always the sign of a good story. I keep hoping that everything's working out well for her. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy How to Kill Your Husband (and Other Handy Household Hints) by Kathy Lette and Untying the Knot by Linda Gillard.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Outstanding by Kathryn Flett at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Outstanding by Kathryn Flett at Amazon.com.
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