Book review: Heartbreak Hotel, By Deborah Moggach | The IndependentRetired actor Russell Buffery, or Buffy as he's more widely known, has been living and working in London for the better part of his life. However, when his close friend Bridie passes away and leaves him her I so enjoyed this quirky novel. I half expected it to be another "Marigold Hotel" offering but no! The similarities ended with the hotel theme.
Deborah Moggach Heartbreak Hotel WHSmith Richard and Judy Book Club Autumn 2013
In recent years, the novelist and scriptwriter Deborah Moggach has turned her attention to matters geriatric. Her novel These Foolish Things, later filmed as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, followed the fortunes of a group of retirees setting up shop in a guest-house in India. Here the conceit is much the same, though the location has shifted from Jaipur to a soggy corner of Wales. The star of this provincial drama is retired actor Russell "Buffy" Buffery. It's while he's contemplating his personal history that a money-making wheeze occurs: he'll turn the hotel into a base for residential courses for the newly single, divorced and bereaved. Buffy's "Courses for Divorces" prove an immediate hit, and soon refugees from the "marital battlefields" are dashing up the M5 for classes in gardening and car maintenance.
His cunning plan is to run courses that teach the recently divorced how to perform the everyday tasks previously done by their other halves. Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, repeats her earlier recipe by setting loose a group of quirky characters in a run-down hotel. Instead of India, though, the novel is set in the fictional Knockton in Wales. This is a village of hippy-dippy second-hand shops with strong community bonhomie. A retired actor with an ever-expanding waistline, Buffy has left behind a lonely rental in a London landscape populated by the super-rich, rapacious traffic wardens and a plague of bankers.
Courses For Divorces
A fter the great success at the box office of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , based on Moggach's novel, These Foolish Things , it's difficult not to play casting director with her latest book, which is just crying out for Bill Nighy and co. In fact it's already set to become a BBC series. Strapped for cash, Buffy starts running "courses for divorces". Cue hordes of slightly shop-soiled exes blundering about the Marches and, naturally, finding love. Moggach directs her characters with an assured touch, effortlessly matchmaking in a way that satisfies both the desire for vicarious happiness and our insatiable appetite for plot twists. She's witty, on the button when it comes to the state of the nation and, above all, heroically generous with the warmth she dispenses.
He decides that a man can be tired of London and not be tired of life, and heads west, to reboot his existence. First up is Monica, who works for a company running corporate events. Amy is a make-up artist. Was he too nice? Too effete?