A hilarious and hip novel for every girl who's been desperate to find a way into her dream-man's heart-and discovered that love is more finicky than a Chihuahua in a Prada handbag.Yesterday, Liv Elliot had it all: a great flat in London's Notting Hill, an actual career (okay, as an accountant), and a fiancé with whom she was only weeks away from wedded bliss. Every girl's dream, right But then Tim declared that the wedding was off-leaving Liv shell-shocked. Luckily, she's got her best friend's fab Australian beach house in which to recuperate.
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December 31, 2001
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Excerpt from Dog Handling by Clare Naylor
Francesca Honeycomb, International Beauty, Philanthropist, and Academic, 1972-2060
Francesca Honeycomb [oh, come on, if you think that in my fantasy life I'd be noble enough to keep the name my parents gave me you've got me all wrong] lived a life without compromise. There were times she was so wasted on fabulous substances that the morning after a night of unparalleled hedonism she'd hitch a ride home on the milkfloat only to discover she'd lost her house in a game of blackjack with a Russian card shark. Fortunately, Francesca was the kind of girl that the card shark would fall madly in love with and serenade with "Down the River Mother Volga" at four in the morning. He would give her back her house and a bitten fountain pen that had belonged to Karl Marx and leave her to concentrate on her study of neoclassical armoires. But study alone couldn't hold Francesca's attention for long--she was diverted along the path of academic brilliance by the appearance of a lethal rock star and a glittering aristocrat, neither of whom she had an iota of respect for but both of whom knew how to twinkle her toes in every sense. In fact, it was not until her forties and an exhausting decade of being pursued by the most eligible and delicious men in the world that the girl who boasted the unique accolade of appearing as a guest star on Eastenders and as a panelist on Newsnight finally met the man she was to settle down with--marketing guru turned yogi Tim Evans--a man in the Terence Stamp mold [Francesca figured Terence himself may be a little past it as she approached her forties and he his seventies]. She is survived by two children with piercing blue eyes, a daughter who has just been awarded the Turner Prize and a son who lives in Falmouth with his boyfriend and their eight cats. A distraught friend said last night, "Frannie was the greatest. She spent every last penny in the bank account of life." Mourners are asked to send as many flowers as the hearse will hold but none of those awful supermarket carnations.
It was another day in the accounts department and Liv Elliot was thinking ahead. Thinking ahead to the day she died, to be precise. Newspapers across the land would be splattered with coverage of her life well lived. Her obituary would read like the blurb on a fantastic novel and everyone would agree that she hadn't wasted a moment.