It's been a while since I read a book from Annie Sanders.
I remember really enjoying Goodbye Jimmy Choo some years ago and was looking forward to reading Instructions For Bringing Up Scarlett.
I was not disappointed at all, this is a really clever story, excellently written and pulls on the old heart-strings whilst at the same time bringing a wry smile to the face.
Imagine Rosie; a successful career, lots of foreign travel, no money worries, the occasional good looking guy to hang from her arm - life is good.
Rosie is godmother to Scarlett, the eleven year old daughter of her oldest and dearest friend Virginia and her husband Piers.
It took many years for Scarlett to appear, at times Ginny and Piers thought that they would never become parents. Rosie enjoys being the 'fairy' godmother, the person who arrives with her arms full of presents, the person who is fun and quirky, the person who doesn't make the rules.
All that changes the day that Rosie hears the news that Virginia and Piers have been killed in a car accident. Rosie is not just Scarlett's godmother, but her legal guardian too. How on earth is she going to bring up this sad, vulnerable little girl?
The story flits back and forth, from the present day, following Rosie and Scarlett as they come to terms with their loss, as they learn about each other, as they battle Piers' Mother. Virginia's story is also told, using excerpts from her secret diary - the one that started as an open letter to Scarlett. The reader follows Virginia's battles with her Mother in Law, and her other 'battle' - the battle to become a Mother.
This is a touching story, with some difficult themes that have been managed expertly. A very readable story, loveable characters - a cracker of a read.