Man at the Helm

A Novel
By Nina Stibbe (Hardcover Book, 2015)
Born into a posh family, ten-year old Lizzie Vogel has lived a charmed life thus far, with a big sister who knows everything, a cute baby brother, and a full-time housekeeper who bakes jam tarts. But when, in 1970, Lizzie's father abandons her mother and packs his ex-family off to the tiny village of Flatstone, life for the Vogels veers catastrophically off-course. The new neighbors disapprove of divorcees and fatherless children, and Lizzie's theatrical mother provides constant grist for the gossip mill, letting the laundry pile up like Mount Sinai and spending her days drinking whiskey, popping pills and writing plays about how sad she is. Before long the family is shunned by village society.

Deciding that only a "man at the helm" will restore order to their household, Lizzie and her sister take it upon themselves to secure a new husband for their mother. As the two girls make their way down a list of candidates that includes a charming con-artist, an idiotic vicar, and several married men, Lizzie confronts the downright craziness of grown-up love and learns that sometimes a family needs to veer catastrophically off-course in order to find true happiness.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Hardcover Book

    • Price: $25.00 US

    • ISBN-13: 9780316286671

    • On Sale Date: 03/10/2015

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Electronic Book

  • Newsletter

    Don't miss updates about our authors, including book tour info and new book releases.

Born into a posh family, ten-year old Lizzie Vogel has lived a charmed life thus far, with a big sister who knows everything, a cute baby brother, and a full-time housekeeper who bakes jam tarts. But when, in 1970, Lizzie's father abandons her mother and packs his ex-family off to the tiny village of Flatstone, life for the Vogels veers catastrophically off-course. The new neighbors disapprove of divorcees and fatherless children, and Lizzie's theatrical mother provides constant grist for the gossip mill, letting the laundry pile up like Mount Sinai and spending her days drinking whiskey, popping pills and writing plays about how sad she is. Before long the family is shunned by village society.

Deciding that only a "man at the helm" will restore order to their household, Lizzie and her sister take it upon themselves to secure a new husband for their mother. As the two girls make their way down a list of candidates that includes a charming con-artist, an idiotic vicar, and several married men, Lizzie confronts the downright craziness of grown-up love and learns that sometimes a family needs to veer catastrophically off-course in order to find true happiness.

Nina Stibbe was born in Leicester. She is the author of the hugely acclaimed Love, Nina. She now lives in Cornwall with her partner and two children. Man at the Helm is her first novel.



  • PRAISE FOR LOVE, NINA:

    "I adored this book, and I could quote from it forever. It's real, odd, life-affirming, sharp, loving...and I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so frequently while reading." (The Believer).

  • "Breezy, sophisticated, hilarious, rude, and aching with sweetness: Love, Nina might be the most charming book I've ever read." (Maria Semple).

  • "I have never laughed so hard reading a book. Nina Stibbe's recollections of life as a London nanny are both hilarious and heartwarming." (J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine and The Engagements).

  • "I loved this book. What a beady eye she has for domestic life, and how deliciously fresh and funny she is - a real discovery." (Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel).

  • "Nina Stibbe is the funniest new writer to arrive in years. Love, Nina is a memoir so warm, so witty and so wise, it's like finding the friend you always deserved." (Andrew O'Hagan, author of The Missing ).

  • "If you are looking for a memoir with a literary and arty cast of characters, Nina Stibbe's hilarious Love, Nina is hard to beat....The joy of Love, Nina is that it is what you could call an unfiltered memoir, comprised of actual letters Stibbe wrote to her sister Victoria over five years, describing her London life and peppered with Stibbe's pitch perfect ear for dialogue and character....Its true strength is Stibbe's comedic touch about universal themes of family life and of someone going out in the wider world for the first time." (The Bookseller).

Formats

Product Details

Man at the Helm
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $25.00 US
  • Pages: 320
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316286671
  • On Sale Date: 03/10/2015
Also By This Author
Man at the Helm