We’ve spoken to some of Merci Maman’s very own to find out how they are passing their spare time without getting overly bored whilst staying put. Clemmie, Key Accounts, manages our platforms and has been with us for around 3 years. From Etsy to Not On The High Street to John Lewis, it’s Clemmie who handles your orders.
Always bright and bubbly, Clemmie is a book lover and has written up her top recommendations for those who are looking for something new to read. We have been told, under strict instruction, these are in no particular order!
A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle
I think working for a Franco-British company first attracted me to this story of a British ex-pat setting up a new life in the South of France. From restoring a worse-for-wear farmhouse to dealing with the winter mistral winds, this humorous account of the frustrations and charm (and food!) of the region is intoxicating.
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
An enchanting coming-of-age story from the author of 101 Dalmatians. The protagonist is 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain who lives in a crumbling castle with her eccentric family. Although to a modern reader Cassandra’s life is fascinating, she longs to experience more. The tale gently twists and turns through jealousy, first love and family ties.
Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton
If you’re a millennial woman then you’ve probably already read this book, and if you haven’t then prepare for a recognisable account of growing up in the age of MSN messenger and Pizza Express. Journalist Dolly Alderton describes her experiences of friendship, finding a career, falling in and out of love and becoming a ‘grown-up’ along the way.
Snobs, Julian Fellowes
This book is a clever observation of British life, class and societal judgements. Edith Lavery, a Chelsea-based receptionist meets Charles, Earl Broughton and falls in love – but is it with him, or with his title? Their relationship plays out through the eyes of their family members, friends, and you as the reader. The perfect read for anyone fascinated by British culture or who wants to learn more!
One Day, David Nicholls
You may have seen the film, but as always the book is much better! Emma and Dexter meet for the first time at the end of university and we return to their story on the same day each year. We watch their friendship develop through the ins and outs of growing up together and apart. I won’t say too much for anyone who doesn’t know the ending!
Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee
Escapism in a book! Laurie Lee’s account of his childhood will transport you to a Cotswold village and the simple lives of the people who live there. Set in the early 20th century, sumptuous descriptions of nature sit alongside accounts of modernity creeping into this idyllic world.
Grace: A Memoir, Grace Coddington
Haven’t heard of Grace Coddington? Neither had I! Her journey from a rural Welsh childhood to sixties supermodel and ultimately Creative Director of US Vogue is gripping, funny and inspiring. This is a must-read for any follower of fashion or anyone who needs a push to make a change in their life!
The Lake House, Kate Morton
I always make sure I have a book by Kate Morton when I know I will have a lot of time to read because they’re very hard to put down! The Lake House weaves between three stories, all connected by a beautiful Cornish house and its inhabitants. A detective discovers the house by chance and her investigations cause a 70-year-old mystery to begin to unravel.
Atonement, Ian McEwan
A modern classic! Briony and Cecilia are sisters who, along with their family, are entertaining various guests at their country estate. Robbie is their housekeeper’s son and also a contemporary of Cecilia’s from university. The night unfolds in a way that will change all of their lives forever. A heartbreaking story of the dangers of imagination.
Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
My all-time favourite book! I read Rebecca for the first time in my teens and now I reread it about once a year. The story starts in Monte Carlo where troubled widower Maxim de Winter meets and marries a young woman resigned to a dull life as a lady’s companion. She is whisked away to his Cornish estate, Manderley where she begins to feel the oppressive force of Maxim’s deceased wife, Rebecca. This psychological thriller will have you cringing, gasping and obsessively page-turning until its shocking conclusion.
We hope there is something here that takes your interest!