In Hester Browne’s The Finishing Touches, Betsy is only a few days old when she’s abandoned on the steps of The Academy, a modern day finishing school. There she is taken in by Lady Frances, who takes care of her as her own.
Fast forward twenty seven years and Betsy is an accomplished young woman, with the very best manners that her mother taught her. But with Lady Frances’ death, Betsy suddenly finds herself responsible for drumming up some new business for The Academy, which is still teaching old-world manners to a class full of club-hopping, cellphone babbling teenagers.
It is with skill, poise, and humour that Betsy struggles to reinvent The Academy by creating some new lessons, and hopes to learn something about her birth mother along the way…
Like so many things in life, books all depend on timing. Sometimes you get a fabulous book in your hands, but at the wrong time. Maybe you’re craving something deeper, something more profound, when you stumble upon chick-lit. Or maybe you’re just looking for something to take your mind off things when you find something thought-provoking. It’s all about timing.
Luckily, I happened upon this book at the right time. I was just in the mood for something light and fun, and that’s exactly what this book was.
Like Hester Browne’s The Little Lady Agency series, this one also focuses on manners and etiquette, two things which the modern world seems to have lost. But I definitely enjoyed this one more, as the heroine, Betsy, is a lot more plucky and forward. She has less of that self-deprecating tone that one so often finds in chick-lit, and for that I was grateful.
And unlike so many chick-lits out there, the focus is not Betsy’s love life, although it does play a role (of course). Instead, each chapter starts off with a tip or rule that every modern woman should know, such as certain things that you should always have in your purse or how to overcome certain sticky situations. These tips and tricks are what Betsy bases her new lessons for the her modern finishing school on.
Betsy’s abandonment by her birth mother plays a big part in the story, and adds some surprising depth, especially since you don’t really expect it. Without knowing her birth parents and their stories, Betsy seems frozen in time, since she believes she can’t create her own story, without knowing her parents, and this creates an interesting conundrum.
With that being said, The Finishing Touches is not exactly deep stuff, and it doesn’t need to be. With just the right amount of humour, romance, fluff, and poise, it’s just like sitting down with a chat with your best friend, with a steaming cup of tea and freshly baked biscuits. Perfect!
Thanks for reading,
P.S- Also, if you haven’t heard about my giveaway, go enter it here! Only two more days left to enter!