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In the Wee Small Hours

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Life just keeps getting more complicated for Annie Baker. Her sister Lizzie's pregnant and wants Annie to be her birth-partner - she's planning an active labour, in water, with lots of candles and music. Her partner Matt isn't too sure, although he's bought some new swimming trunks just in case. Annie's friend Leila has got a new man, Tor, and she's getting heavily into yo Life just keeps getting more complicated for Annie Baker. Her sister Lizzie's pregnant and wants Annie to be her birth-partner - she's planning an active labour, in water, with lots of candles and music. Her partner Matt isn't too sure, although he's bought some new swimming trunks just in case. Annie's friend Leila has got a new man, Tor, and she's getting heavily into yoga, while Kate from the village has somehow ended up having an affair with her own ex-husband. And as for the men in Annie's own life, it just gets worse. Her seven-year-old son Charlie is now officially Pagan, and desperate for his own pet pheasant. Boss Barney is building a bit of a reputation for TV commercials involving stunts, so if she's not lurching around the North Sea in a trawler, she's stuck up a crane. Then there's Uncle Monty, a retired mole-catcher who collects bric-a-brac, to keep an eye on. Eighty-three and a few sandwiches short of a picnic, Monty has threatened the Meals on Wheels lady with a shotgun and is refusing to leave the farm where he's lived all his life. just when Annie was beginning to think she might be able to cope without him For everyone who fell in love with Annie Baker and her Only Boy for Me, here's what happened next. And for anyone who's ever wondered how to combine motherhood, the country life and a career in town, and why pheasants make that weird clicking noise, this is essential reading.


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Life just keeps getting more complicated for Annie Baker. Her sister Lizzie's pregnant and wants Annie to be her birth-partner - she's planning an active labour, in water, with lots of candles and music. Her partner Matt isn't too sure, although he's bought some new swimming trunks just in case. Annie's friend Leila has got a new man, Tor, and she's getting heavily into yo Life just keeps getting more complicated for Annie Baker. Her sister Lizzie's pregnant and wants Annie to be her birth-partner - she's planning an active labour, in water, with lots of candles and music. Her partner Matt isn't too sure, although he's bought some new swimming trunks just in case. Annie's friend Leila has got a new man, Tor, and she's getting heavily into yoga, while Kate from the village has somehow ended up having an affair with her own ex-husband. And as for the men in Annie's own life, it just gets worse. Her seven-year-old son Charlie is now officially Pagan, and desperate for his own pet pheasant. Boss Barney is building a bit of a reputation for TV commercials involving stunts, so if she's not lurching around the North Sea in a trawler, she's stuck up a crane. Then there's Uncle Monty, a retired mole-catcher who collects bric-a-brac, to keep an eye on. Eighty-three and a few sandwiches short of a picnic, Monty has threatened the Meals on Wheels lady with a shotgun and is refusing to leave the farm where he's lived all his life. just when Annie was beginning to think she might be able to cope without him For everyone who fell in love with Annie Baker and her Only Boy for Me, here's what happened next. And for anyone who's ever wondered how to combine motherhood, the country life and a career in town, and why pheasants make that weird clicking noise, this is essential reading.

30 review for In the Wee Small Hours

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Annie Baker’s life could not be more complicated: her sister Lizzie wants her to be her birthing partner once she goes into labour, her boss Barney has her working like a demon as he tries to make even more outrageous commercials and her friends Kate and Laila are either wrapped up in new men or having an affair with their ex-husband. Her son Charlie has now decided he wants to be a Pagan and wants a pet pheasant, dog and ferret and she also has to look after her old, and slightly mad, Uncle Mon Annie Baker’s life could not be more complicated: her sister Lizzie wants her to be her birthing partner once she goes into labour, her boss Barney has her working like a demon as he tries to make even more outrageous commercials and her friends Kate and Laila are either wrapped up in new men or having an affair with their ex-husband. Her son Charlie has now decided he wants to be a Pagan and wants a pet pheasant, dog and ferret and she also has to look after her old, and slightly mad, Uncle Monty. To top it all off, just when she thinks she’s getting over Mack, he comes waltzing back into her life. What’s a girl to do? After loving Gil McNeil’s debut novel The Only Boy For Me, I set about looking up Gil’s other books. I looked at them all and noticed there was a sequel to The Only Boy For Me and that made my day. I was thrilled that I’d have the chance to get back into Annie’s – and more importantly Charlie’s – world and couldn’t believe it when I spotted In The Wee Small Hours in the book swop a month or so ago. I finally got around to reading it and found myself easily sucked into Annie’s chaotic life. While you don’t have to read The Only Boy For Me before you read In The Wee Small Hours, I suggest you do because it’s hilariously funny and sets the scene perfectly for book two. In The Wee Small Hours picks up Annie Baker’s life around six months after The Only Boy For Me ends and I was quickly sucked back into Annie’s world. Gil McNeil’s writing style is very smooth and she’s crafted such fantastic characters that I found myself whizzing through the book. The chapters are quite long so you would have to set some time free to be able to really get stuck into the book especially if you like to finish a chapter before you finish reading for the day/night. Annie’s life was rather hectic in The Only Boy For Me and it carries on throughout In The Wee Small Hours. Annie seems to lurch from one crisis to the next; her sister’s impending labour, her precocious son, having to look after her mad Uncle Monty as well as having to deal with her boss Barney not to mention the fact that Mack walks back into her life after leaving for New York in the first book. All of the characters from the first book return and it’s as if I never left them – regardless of the fact I read The Only Boy For Me months ago. There isn’t one major plot to In The Wee Small Hours, there are lots of mini plots, all of which I mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph. Annie makes a fantastic heroine. I could read about her and Charlie’s life all day. She’s incredibly independent, she’s fiercly protective of all of her friends and she’s just an incredibly character. Like the first book it’s Charlie that really helps to carry the book. He’s one of my favourite child characters in any book. The statements he comes out with and the randomness with which he chooses his religion/his pets always makes me laugh. It’s easy to imagine Charlie as a real little person and I’d love to know who Gil modelled him off. Annie’s friends and family are ever-present throughout the book. Laila, Kate and Sally are Annie’s best friends and they’re all there whenever Annie needs them. All three could have separate books if Gil wanted to do that and I’d happily read them. Annie’s mother, father and sister are always around and I loved Lizzie, Annie’s sister. My favourite character over both books, bar Charlie and Annie, had to be Barney, Annie’s director boss. He loves his job and loves making adverts with crazy stunts and I thought he was just hilarious. The way he wound Lawrence (Annie’s co-worker) throughout both books made me laugh out loud. I have to say that I really liked Annie’s Uncle Monty. He may have been a tad mad but I really liked him and felt so sorry for him since he’d lost his wife. Mack was a weird character for me. I liked him for the most part but found him very pig-headed also. As I mentioned above, Gil’s writing is very relaxed and an easy style to read. The entire book is told from Annie’s point of view (like the first one) which is the perfect style for this kind of book. I read 70 or so pages a few days ago, got hooked but since I’ve been busy I haven’t had chance to pick it up for days yet when I started it again today from page 70 I got straight back into the story and it was like I hadn’t not read a page for three days. The ending of the book was incredibly surprising and very tragic. I had a funny feeling somebody was going to die and I knew who my money was on so to lose someone else was completely unexpected and took me completely by surprise. Up until that point I would have happily read a third book in the series but I feel it wouldn’t be worth it after losing such an important character to the story. In The Wee Small Hours was a fantastic read and if you haven’t read one of Gil McNeil’s books then I hugely recommend you pick one up. I’ve only read two of her books but I hugely enjoyed both and have her Divas Don’t Knit/Needles and Pearls to read and I look forward to devouring them. I will say one thing though: read The Only Boy For Me first. Not because it’s necessary but because it’s a fantastic read and you can read In The Wee Small Hours straight afterwards. Hugely recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

    I will take a Gil McNeil book any day! I love her rambling stories, lovely characters and witty humor. And I love that the ending for this story could easily lead into another book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Johanna Banthorpe

    Couldn’t finish this - far too chaotic, unnecessary foul language, irritating - gave up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    After reading "Only Boy for Me" I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh out loud like most of Gil McNeil's books do. I could live without all of the "language" which in my opinion does not add to the story. The characters are very well described and they pulled me into the story. I could really relate to them. After reading "Only Boy for Me" I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh out loud like most of Gil McNeil's books do. I could live without all of the "language" which in my opinion does not add to the story. The characters are very well described and they pulled me into the story. I could really relate to them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This was a sequel and again it was lovely to pick up with familiar characters. I do like her style. Annie is bringing up her small son Charlie. She has plenty of friends and gets roped into lots of the school fundraising ideas along the way. She helps look after her aged uncle Monty on his farm. She meets an old boyfriend Mack- but do they want the same things from life?!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This was hysterically funny, I should have been British because I just love this dry, self-deprecating humor. I was really irritiated by the way the first book about Annie ended; this one was much more satisfying. Any mother will find this laugh-out-loud funny!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Camille Cloutier

    This was a great book .... so funny but with a good story. Didn't want it to end. This was a great book .... so funny but with a good story. Didn't want it to end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carmel

    Entertaining but very similar to all her other books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Audiobook. I think this is called Chick Lit. OK. Not hugely compelling; a good don't-have-to-pay-100%-attention whilst cooking read..... Audiobook. I think this is called Chick Lit. OK. Not hugely compelling; a good don't-have-to-pay-100%-attention whilst cooking read.....

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Hilarious! Laughed out loud a number of times and reread sections to my husband just so I would have someone else to laugh with. Loved it!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wednesday_d

    A wonderful continuation of Annie and Charlie's tale! Funny, easy to read and so, oh so heart-warming! A wonderful continuation of Annie and Charlie's tale! Funny, easy to read and so, oh so heart-warming!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    A good quick read, but I preferred her Beach Street Knitting ...

  13. 5 out of 5

    ReneeB

    Sequel to "The Only Boy for Me". Just as good! Sequel to "The Only Boy for Me". Just as good!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Molly

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Jones

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steph

  18. 5 out of 5

    jeanette smith

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim Stacey

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paula Morton

  21. 4 out of 5

    D

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gill

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suzi

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Puppybox

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kizzy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Vinson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Hosking

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty Ellinor

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