A New York Times Notable Book of 2015: From the writer of the hugely acclaimed Love, Nina comes a sharply funny debut novel about a gloriously eccentric family.
Soon after her parents' separation, nine-year-old Lizzie Vogel moves with her siblings and newly single mother to a tiny village in the English countryside, where the new neighbors are horrified by their unorthodox ways and fatherless household. Lizzie's theatrical mother only invites more gossip by spending her days drinking whiskey, popping pills, and writing plays.
The one way to fit in, the children decide, will be to find themselves a new man at the helm. The first novel from a remarkably gifted writer with a voice all her own, Man at the Helm is a hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking portrait of childhood in an unconventional family.
About the Author
Nina Stibbe is the author of Love, Nina, Man at the Helm, Paradise Lodge, and An Almost Perfect Christmas. She lives in Cornwall, England with her husband and their two children.
"Man at the Helm is a winner- a brilliant find....It is full, free, outlandish. And I can't remember a book that made me laugh more. [Stibbe] doesn't take anything seriously. Or rather, she does, and yet her eye and ear for the absurd never desert her- they are part of who she is."—The Guardian
"Some of the most perceptive writing I've read about relationships in a while....this book is very, very funny. Stibbe has a fine eye for absurdity, and her writing has an unforced charm."—The Independent
"[A] joyous read, full of wit and charm . . . I am already longing for Nina Stibbe's next book."—The Observer
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."—Nick Hornby, The Believer
"Breezy, sophisticated, hilarious, rude, and aching with sweetness: Love, Nina might be the most charming book I've ever read."—Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette
"These letters are winning from the start...we simply like being in Ms. Stibbe's company."—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"You'll find yourself laughing out loud but also touched by the book's depiction of family as it should be: people bound not just by blood but by shared affinities, humor and unfailing interest in hearing the answer to the question, 'How was your day?'"—Kim Hubbard, People
"I must MOST EARNESTLY recommend Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. It's the most piss-funny thing I've read all year. I can't remember a book since Adrian Mole that so brilliantly, drily nailed day-to-day life in BRILLIANT, faux-naive prose."—Caitlin Moran, author of How to Build a Girl
"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
enchanting. It's one of the funniest¾and oddest¾books I've read in a long time.... [Stibbe's letters] are perceptive and droll, and provide a glimpse into the domestic life of a fascinating literary family."—Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal