x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Book review: Deborah Moggach successfully goes back to the well with another motley crew of characters

In Deborah Moggach's Heartbreak Hotel, an ageing former actor decides to become the proprietor of a B&B he inherits from a former girlfriend.

Heartbreak Hotel
Deborah Moggach
Chatto & Windus

Heartbreak Hotel is the very best kind of light and frothy read. A rag-tag crew of assorted adorable losers are brought together in unlikely circumstances by a damaged but magnetic ringleader.

Sure, you've heard it all before - and of course, that was the winning plot of author Deborah Moggach's previous bestseller, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - but that doesn't mean it's not highly entertaining.

Carrying on from her 2006 book The Ex-Wives, Moggach focuses on Russell "Buffy" Buffery, a portly, ageing former actor with three ex-wives, five children and a favourite step-child. This time around, Buffy inherits a crumbling old B&B in Wales from a former girlfriend and, sick of London, decides to become the proprietor.

It's all very compelling and unfolds at a pleasing clip, although one would rather Moggach wasn't so quite negative about ageing, but there is, nevertheless, something so lovely about the spirit of her writing.

In Moggach's world, it's never too late for amazing things to happen, in life or love, and if you surround yourself with good people, no matter what you lose along the way, you'll win in the end.

* Ann Marie McQueen