Almost English

Charlotte Mendelson

17 August 2023
416 pages


‘The multi award-winning Charlotte Mendelson is famous for whipping up the hottest, messiest family dramas a writer of literary fiction can . . . This is late Shakespeare meets Modern Family and it’s irresistible’ – The Times

In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family’s crushing expectations and their traditions, she knows she must escape.

At Combe Abbey, a traditional English private boarding school in the Dorset countryside, Marina realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. Here, among the boathouses, chapel services and unspoken social hierarchy, she is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, flirt, or even exist.

Meanwhile, her mother has her own painful secrets to deal with – especially the surprising return of the very last man she’d expect to see. And Marina’s disastrous spiral at Combe Abbey is going unnoticed . . .

‘A deliciously funny tale of dysfunctional families. . . Reading Mendelson’s easy, assured prose is like sinking into something soft and velvety’ – Telegraph

‘I read and adored Almost English . . . and now I will read everything she’s ever written. Charlotte Mendelson is a fiendishly gifted writer’ – Marian Keyes

I read and ADORED Almost English . . . And now I will read everything she's ever written. Charlotte Mendelson is a fiendishly gifted writer with such a way of looking at the world with huge generosity of spirit. It's what we need, especially now
Charlotte Mendelson is much admired by the cognoscenti and Almost English ought to be a bestseller. The account of a girl from a family of Hungarian aunts, dealing with love and old lechers at a ghastly boarding school in the 1980s, is sheer bliss — pure rueful comedy with endless resourcefulness . . . I adore her novels and wish there were many more of them
I adored Almost English