Intelligent, darkly funny novel set in 1970s Essex, about a characterful teenage girl who falls painfully in love for the first time and decides that she needs to escape her suffocating family.
It is 1971 - hippies, hot pants and extraordinary footwear. Jo and her friend Frankie are fifteen, and they have a problem. Frankie's American mother, in England against her will, is determined to move out of the scruffy Essex village to civilized London. Jo's family would follow them if only they could sell their great rambling home, the Red House, but unfortunately, the house is putting up a fight. An architectural oddity built by an eighteenth-century madman to irritate his wife, it always did have a life of its own, but now its sinister goings-on are driving prospective buyers away. The capable Jo has always coped with her eccentric family but they're getting worse. Even more disturbing, Jo and Frankie are convinced that there's been a murder on the premises.
As the Red House crumbles around them, the girls are determined to get to the bottom of the mystery so the Starkey family can sell up and start an ordinary life. But along comes the devastatingly attractive Florian, folk singer and opportunist, to cause a chaos all of his own...
RAINY DAY WOMEN is a black comedy in which teenaged hopes, fears and egomaniacal tunnel vision are played out against the background of a seriously dysfunctional family, some of its members deeply loveable - and some of them not.
“A mystery story, a ghost story, a rites of passage tale - Yardley's novel excels as each. Rainy Day Women manages to capture the strain and pain of teenagers growing up and families breaking down and yet remain upbeat, animated by humour that is sharp but unfailingly generous”
“You'll love this”
“Funny, poignant and original”
“I'd highly recommend this...a gripping mystery, funny and dark, which evokes the spirit of the Seventies”
“Following the lovely Painting Ruby Tuesday comes a tale equally spotted with music references and beautifully evoking teenagers growing up in the 1970s. A crumbling Essex house takes centre stage: its hauntings hide a darker secret. However, it's the light touch and genuine humour that leave you revisiting the story for days. Excellent throughout”
Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller