Moonshine by Victoria Clayton
A witty, charming romantic comedy from the author of Clouds Among the Stars. Roberta is appalled to have to abandon her perfect life in London to return to the family home and look after her mother, who has taken breaking her hip as a sign to stay in bed all day reading romance novels. Her involvement with a married polititian may have been a direct consequence of this. When the inevitable scandal breaks, Roberta flees -- and accepts a job as housekeeper to an eccentric family, and is summoned to their family home -- an enormous castle in the Irish countryside. Arriving in Ireland, Roberta takes a hair-raising pony and trap ride in the driving rain to reach her destination: Curraghcourt. It is a grand and imposing castle, although it has fallen into a state of bad disrepair. And when she meets the family, Roberta begins to understand why. The owner's wife, Violet, is lying in her room in a coma. His charming but vague sister is addicted to poetry; and his mistress Sissy has a private line to the fairies. Completing the family unit are three dysfunctional children. The novel follows Roberta's efforts to restore Curraghcourt and reform the wayward family. She quickly finds redeeming qualities in even the most infuriating characters and falls in love with the melancholy madness of the household. The wonderful cast of characters includes eccentric friends, the fiery yet sentimental neighbours, assorted hangers-on and admirers. Victoria Clayton has written an enchanting novel, a wonderful social comedy.