Cover image for Mrs. Fytton's country life
Mrs. Fytton's country life
Cheek, Mavis.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
332 pages ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Angela Fytton -- wonderwife and supermother -- has been unceremoniously dumped by her husband. Like many a good wife before her, she has been replaced for a younger model. Now, divorced but determined, she rediscovers the iron in her soul and decides to fight. She moves to the country, leaving her entirely selfish teenage children with their father and his sweet new bride, and waits. One day, she knows, her husband will return. Meanwhile, she yields herself up to the notion that country life is pure and good and country people are next to angels -- and finds that this is very far from the truth....

Author Notes

Mavis Cheek is the author of eight previous novels. She lives in London with her daughter.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Treading Joanna Trollope territory but with a lighter touch, British author Cheek (Pause Between Acts) plays a roundelay on midlife marital crisis. Fortyish but still delectable, Angela Fytton has lost her beloved Ian to a "little, blonde, helpless" younger woman, just as they were getting to the point where they could relax and enjoy each other. Sadly, Angela, supermom and wife that she was, cannot get over her husband and wants him back. To that end, she formulates a plan so devious, so gorgeously simple, so prospectively effective, that it is sure to work, though his new baby with the despised "Binnie" does give her a qualm. She buys a country home and departs London, leaving her two teenagers to live with their father, allowing her former spouse to contend with all the joys of a new infant, new wife and resentful adolescents ("a walking disaster area") in the same house. Surprisingly, Angela loves the country, though its denizens are not the innocents she expected; she gets on well, and the plan goes as expected, almost. Cheek's breezy style suits this consistently amusing story, and the characterizations, while not deep, are engaging. Her very readable wry look at modern marriage has all the right ingredients: the second family, the first wife making the second life possible, the husband needing to be needed while subconsciously expecting his home life to be perfect, the usual miscommunications and separate agendas. The cleverly ironic ending adds a nice twist to a tart and larky tale. While it's unlikely the book will achieve the bestseller status it attained in England, it should appeal to the audience for domestic comedy, British style. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

What does a perfect wife do when she's dumped? If she's Angela Fytton "mumsy in the kitchen, whorish in the bedroom, stylish in the world, and efficient in the workplace" she quits London for the country, but not without a plan. No matter that ex-husband Ian has bedded and wed younger Binnie Angela intends to get him back. After leaving her two horrible teenage children with their father and the second Mrs. Fytton, she succumbs to the charms of her newly acquired country house and the community around it. Angela receives a 19th-century journal written by an earlier resident of her new abode and follows its instructions to the point of making candles out of mutton fat, then lighting them at the first party she holds for her country neighbors. The result is nearly disastrous, but it does help Angela understand what she wants from country life and life in general. Cheek's rural folk may be just this side of stereotype there's a handsome young vicar, for instance, lusted after by both the aged doctor and the doctor's buxom young housemaid but she spins a nicely paced tale with a sly sense of humor reminiscent of Fay Weldon. Cheek, the author of eight other novels (e.g., Getting Back Brahms), has produced a supremely entertaining work that was a best seller in England. For all popular fiction collections. Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.