We all need to grow up and become independent eventually. For Andrea Lieberman, whose parents have out of control protective instincts, it’s happening a bit late at the ripe age of 26. Andrea, better known as Andy, is tired of being suffocated. In an effort to become independent she takes a six month photography assignment in England. Not only does Andy have to overcome all, well most of, her phobias but England and her fellow travelers have to survive Andy’s education. Will Andy overcome her fears and learn to live life? Will England, her venerable landmarks, and citizenry survive Andy’s efforts?
Read CHAPERONES to discover the answer to those and many other questions for yourself.
Andy’s first steps as an independent woman are borderline farcical; beginning with her luggage check at the airport to her panic attack when the plane lands and the ensuing chaos among her fellow passengers and the flight crew, the hits just keep coming. Poor Andy is woefully unprepared to be truly on her lonesome at home much less in another country. The only child of Annie, a teacher, and George, a pediatrician and raised to fear all the possibilities for harm and danger Andy’s been instilled with a fear of life and living in general. Her decision to remedy that by spending six months across the pond is admirable and speaks volumes about her determination to overcome the obstacles within herself and succeed in her career and life.
Andy’s clueless and loving parents want only to protect their daughter from all that can possibly befall her.
Brandon is Andy’s fiancé-ish. Brandon is confident and laid back but in his own way he’s just as suffocating as her parents.
Ashley/Ash is Andy’s best friend and biggest cheerleader. She firmly believes in Andy’s ability to become stronger, more confident, and independent.
Claire, Gemma, and Millie, the office staff in London, are borderline caricatures, each being at the extreme end of the spectrum.
Claire, it would be easier to have a root canal without Novocain than carry on a conversation with her. You’re exhausted just trying to keep that ball rolling.
Gemma, the quintessential Ms. Butterlegs rarely meets a fella she isn’t inclined to shag. It’s all she thinks about and has an amazing ability to turn the most innocent comment into a sexual innuendo.
Last but not least is Millie, dumb as a box of rocks, Millie is the epitome of vacuous. I couldn’t help but wonder how she managed to get the job and actually keep it.
Harry and Rob, Andy’s traveling companions, are much more defined as well as being extremely active participants in Andy’s education. I had no difficulty figuring out Harry, Rob and their special roles, nor do I believe it’s suppose to be hard.
Rob is described as stereotypically English. Not a standout but not unattractive.
Harry is a gorgeous movie star, but easy going and comfortable.
CHAPERONES is a delightfully humorous coming of age story confirming you’re never too old to learn and grow.
The wonderfully descriptive mini-tour of England enables the reader to feel as if they too are tripping around England’s cathedrals, castles and other historic sites with Andy, Harry, and Rob. Humor abounds as Andy adjusts to England and a life devoid of a cotton wool buffer. You can’t help but root for her, commiserating with her ineptitude, embarrassment and occasional triumphs. Andy discovers that life isn’t just overcoming your fears but also how you allow the age old adage “S*** Happens” to affect you. The road is rocky, bittersweet, and painful but Andy learns you can get through most anything with a little help from your friends.
CHAPERONES is a charming and funny look on an exciting yet difficult time for most people.
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