Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reader Query

I thought I would throw this out to Bettys new and's a bit of a head scratcher, but I'm sure someone will be able to help out Betty Kat (the red bits are my musings):
Hello. I love your TUJD. i found it and have been reading it when i should be working.  i've been looking for a BN book that i read and then put in the 'to be donated' box. and i've had to live with that stupid, careless action for 2 years now. and all because i wanted to clear away clutter. ugh.  And i've been looking on TUJD but i get so caught up reading i forget that i should be looking for my book. Would be help me? I can not remember the title but have some of the details.... that i remember and in no particular order:

1. chubby girl (lots of those)
2. wicked, evil stepmother (if there is a stepmother, she's usually wicked and evil)
3. sweet old house maid (narrows the field slightly)
4. a shabby upstairs apartment that had an outside staircase (hmm...are you sure it's a staircase and not a balcony?)
5. tea with an old woman in a bright, sunny field, the heroine with a full belly, happy until he shows up... with her (this should help, but I'm drawing a blank)
6. an 'engaged' hero (narrows...slightly)
7. feeding a tiny kitten milk, him bringing her the kitten just after she moves into the apartment (slight...narrowing)
8. hero gets heroine a job (lots of these)
9. Heroine insisting until the very last page that he should marry the other girl (hmm...)
10. creepy beau that's a 'good friend' of the hero's fiance(er...)
11. the hero and heroine walking to church (um...)

i know it's not a lot to go on, but if you have any ideas I'd really appreciate it. 

sincerely and very hopeful:


  1. Perhaps An Ideal Wife? Most of the clues fit.

    Betty AnoninTX

  2. The one in Salisbury? There was a creepy beau who was related to the fiancee. and who screwed everything up.

    Or there could be a creepy beau who was friends with the fiancee in The N. There were a couple like that. They end up marrying each other.

  3. An Ideal Wife, which is set in Salisbury, could be it. Louisa Howarth is beautiful, but big -- quite possibly Dr. Thomas Gifford's temporary fiancee, Helena Thornfold, would describe her as chubby. Louisa's stepmum is bone idle and wishes Louisa would marry the staid lawyer Percy Witherspoon, but Louisa and stepmother are friendly and stepmum is easygoing rather than evil.

    Let's see, what else? Biddy, the housekeeper/cook/maid at the Howarth home, is sweet and old. If I recall correctly it is some connection of hers who provides Louisa with a small flat near the cathedral. Certainly Thomas provides her with a kitten, which she names Lucy and keeps at her new flat.

    Louisa also creates a picnic for a group of friends, but does not try to provide tea, since it never tastes as good from a flask. She does, however, try to throw Percy and Helena together, as they will make a great couple, both being pedantic snobs.

    Louisa has long since gotten her own self her own job, but she winds up working for Thomas when he takes on her boss's practice for a while. She does try to get him un-engaged, but loses heart late in the game and attempts to prevent Percy and Helena from eloping, but falls asleep in a cemetery where Thomas finds and kisses her. Given the two of them hang out in Salisbury (though he lives in Gussage-up-Chettle (!)), and she stays at his village place occasionally, it's entirely possible they walk to church together.

    Check out Betty Debbie's review and see if it rings any chimes of memory, BettyKat.

  4. More distant possibilities are Hannah, because she's plump and has a wicked, evil birth mother with whom she lives in a small flat in London. Jaded divorcé Valentijn van Bertes is engaged to Nerissa van der Post, who sets Hannah up with the vile Henk for a date after Valentijn worries that he's making her work too hard taking care of his sickly, premature godson. He hires her twice to care for said godson. She is frequently perfectly content lazing about the godson's parents' palatial home and gardens, often with snacks, until Nerissa intrudes.

    However, no kittens. Her vile mother insists Hannah work as an agency nurse to pay for a lazy-mother's companion, but Hannah doesn't interact with the help. If they go to church, they probably drive. I don't recall Hannah insisting Valentijn marry Nerissa, but she certainly assumes he'll do so.

    Then there's Philomena Selby, An Ordinary Girl, who's "nicely rounded" but again certainly considered at least chubby by Dr. James Forsyth's spoilt, petulant fiancée Sybil West. Sybil sics her caddish cousin, Gregory Finch, on Philomena when she perceives the threat a beautiful-eyed and sensible vicar's daughter can pose. Gregory chats her up and pretends to be a decent human being for a few weeks, but Philomena is not terribly interested. Mrs. Dash comes in twice a week to oblige, everyone goes to church, no kittens, it's set in winter and opens with a blizzard (James & Sybil find refuge in the vicarage) so probably no tea-taking in fields. And mum and dad are both lovely.

    Good luck!