A Proper Family Christmas By Jane Gordon-Cumming

ISBN: 1-905175-191 Price £7.99

Available : October 2005





William Shirburn really isn’t into Christmas – all that jingly tinsly presenty stuff makes him feel queasy. He’d prefer to spend it alone watching trashy TV with his cat. But there’s an unwritten law that elderly people are not allowed to be left alone at Christmas, especially if they live in a vast old mansion that could be a gold-mine in the right hands – and William’s relative are very keen to ensure that Haseley House does end up in the right hands!

Hilary Watlington intends to ignore Christmas altogether. But widows aren’t allowed to spend Christmas alone either and it sounds as if William might need her support. Frances, the nanny, was hoping for a break from spoilt little Tobias and his dreary parents, but now she finds they’re off to stay with his eccentric grandfather in some spooky old house in the Cotswolds.

Can Hilary possibly be starting to have feelings for another man? Will Frances overcome the snobbery that threatens to separate her from Daniel? And whose name is William going to put on the will-form that they’re all so keen for him to complete? This particular family Christmas is going to change everybody’s lives.


‘Packed with delightful, unforgettable, eccentric characters and written with humour and deep sensitivity.’

Katie Fforde

‘Plenty of laughs and life-changing events…a terrific read.’

The Nottingham Evening Post

‘A highly entertaining story full of plot twists and extremely sharp observations about human nature.’

Newbury Weekly News

Author Profile : Jane Gordon Cumming

Jane Gordon-Cumming spent the first three years of her life on a Thames barge in a creek in Kent. She was an early reader, and when they moved to a ‘real’ house, used to make up stories to entertain her sister (now herself a best-selling author) based loosely on the teachers at their South Kensington school.

They eventually settled in Wimbledon, in a house with a turret overlooking the All England Club, and Jane attended the High School, envying her sister’s much more exciting, if less academic, performing arts school. She read Classics at Bedford College, London, but was more interested in writing and performing satirical sketches and songs.

It was after moving to Oxfordshire in 1975 that Jane began to publish short stories, and in 1982 she and her mother became founder members of the still flourishing Oxford Writers Group. She began a D.Phil. on landscape history, but discovered she’d rather save her creative energy for fiction. She and her husband were both 40 when they met in 1990, and they ran Easter revision courses together for thirteen years, before deciding it would be less stressful to renovate houses. They work as volunteers with Oxford Archaeology, organise local community activities, and Jane sings in two choirs, leaving little time for their canal boat.

Jane’s main influences are Wodehouse, Saki, Richmal Crompton, Arthur Ransome and Georgette Heyer, as reflected in this, her first published novel.

Author Links

Jane has her own website: www.janegordoncumming.co.uk

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