Janet Jackson’s Yorkshire B&B
Yorkshire lass and dental receptionist Janet Jackson has just taken a big risk. Using all her savings, she’s turned her spacious garage into a Bed and Breakfast, slapped a sign on it and without any experience at all, is now awaiting her very first guests.
With a moody teenage daughter and a crazy sister to contend with she’s already got her work cut out. The trouble she soon discovers, is that guests have undesirable habits, annoying pets and endless demands. ‘Is it bloody worth it?’ she asks herself a dozen times a day. Janet gradually learns her trade – but not without being tested to her limits. The question is: will she come through the experience with her bank balance, cottage and her sanity intact?
Hugely entertaining but a word of warning: if ever you’ve thought of running a B&B, read this hilarious debut novel first– you might want to think again!
Becky Papworth has spent 20 years making people laugh as a TV Producer on shows like Have I Got News For you, Rab. C. Nesbitt and Citizen Khan.
She’s hoping to entertain some readers with this account of running a B&B, much of it based on her actual experience, she’s not saying which bits…
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When Janet Jackson decides to convert the “garage/annexe” into a B&B, she does so without any of the usual research most people would do, and she has no idea what awaits her. She soon learns it’s much more work than painting a few walls, and adding some matching cushions, rugs and knick-knacks. Her first guest opens her eyes to everything she has overlooked, and from that point on she is playing catch-up to find out what running a B&B is all about.
Daughter Chloe helps out with building a website and online profile for the B&B and … whoosh, the bookings take off. Janet has to squeeze the cleaning of the room between changeovers with her job at the dentist’s. There are never enough hours in the day, but somehow she manages to pull it off.
The diary aspect of this story means that there’s quite a lot of repetition as she struggles to get everything ready. For me, this slows the pace down considerably as it seems like a never-ending loop of client-clean-client-clean. That said, the clients are diverse and each one teaches Janet another lesson about her growing business.
I really grew to like Janet when her awful neighbour, Laura, objects to her running the B&B and reports her to the council. Fortunately, Sharon at the council (my favourite character by a country mile) takes it all in her stride and guides Janet through the minefield of planning rights and permissions.
Janet’s sister, Maureen (Mitzi), adds a humorous touch with her poetry nights out and her steady stream of men friends. Her laissez-faire attitude rubs off on Janet and she finally puts her divorce behind her and has some fun – in between cleaning, of course.
Overall, it’s a fun read, and watching Janet grow into her new role is amusing, sometimes sad, occasionally repetitive (but that’s just life) but always engaging.
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