Take a peek into the diary of Panth (never enquire as to her given name), a young woman knocking on the gilded door of adult life and high society. But kicking up one’s heels at the Cafe de Paris does not come easy to a girl navigating:
Poverty (even the genteel kind), thanks her papa’s sad demise
A lack of any experience whatsoever with the opposite sex, of course not counting Freddie Spencer (and he wasn’t that sort of experience, anyhow)
Multiple sisters with ideas, a grandmother with opinions and one recalcitrant sheep.
Panth knows there is more for her out in the world – it’s 1924, for goodness’ sake – and that could include swoonsome American with excellent teeth, Buck Buchanan. The question is, how in the name of Tatler is she to claim it?
Praise for the novel
A hilarious coming-of-age story for fans of I Capture the Castle and Bridgerton from Carnegie-nominated and Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller Joanna Nadin.
‘This book is bliss!‘ (Hilary McKay)
‘So much fun! So clever with such wonderful characters who I can still feel breathing and squabbling around me. I kept on guffawing with laughter.‘ (Natasha Farrant)
‘I couldn’t put it down. Wodehouse is alive and she’s beautiful!‘ (Emma Carroll)
‘Flawless. Fabulous. Austen meets Mitfords, Durrells and Bridgerton.‘ (Rachel Delahaye)
Publishing in May 2023. You can preorder the book by clicking here.
A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature.
I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name.
I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.