Review: Nice Work (If You Can Get It) by Celia Imrie

James Walton

Though Celia Imrie seems out of her depth at times in this frothy follow up to Not Quite Nice , the results can't help but charm says James Walton. 

Nice Work

Buy  Nice Work (If You Can Get It) for £11.99 
 

You can’t help feeling that Celia Imrie’s late-blossoming career in fiction owes quite a lot to the success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in which she played one of the adventurous oldies.

There’s the same central theme of sixtysomethings refusing to fade away quietly, the same good-natured tone—and now the same willingness to serve up a sequel.

So it is that after last year’s best-selling Not Quite Nice, Theresa Simmonds and her expat chums are back, still living in the South of France, but this time with their hearts set on opening a restaurant.

Admittedly, this seems an ambitious plan given that for most of the book, they don’t really know what they’re doing.

Nonetheless (and I don’t think a spoiler alert is needed here), they win through in the end, thanks to a mixture of never-say-die pluckiness and sheer charm.

And in fact, pretty much the same applies to the novel itself: although Imrie often seems out of her depth (the minor characters are cartoonish, for example, and parts of the plot madly implausible), she goes about her work with such infectious relish that the cheerfully frothy result is hard to resist.