by Bella Pollen
Category: Romance, Sagas & Historical / Romance
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 2 January 2004
Number of pages: 368
American Maggie Monroe is a journalist for New York's hard-hitting current affairs show Newsline. Independent and fearless, the more cutting-edge the story, the happier she is. But when her next assignment turns out to be an in-depth documentary on the decline of England's ruling classes, she's furious at being sent to cover a bloody tea party. Meet the Earl and Countess of Bevan, eccentric, maddening and with family secrets to hide. Meet Daniel Bevan - their eldest son. Funny, attractive and hopelessly alcoholic. Meet Daniel's responsible brother Rory - angry, self-mocking and strictly teetotal. When Maggie discovers Rory to be an uninvited chaperone on the first stop of her journey the two look set to clash. Maggie finds herself torn between her journalist ideals and coming to terms with a greater understanding. This unlikely romantic comedy paints an endearing portrait of a family, which like so many others, holds itself together despite its evident frailties. 'Hilariously accurate ...A gifted writer with a pithy, poetic style' - Wendy Holden, "Daily Mail".
American journalist Maggie Monroe wants to research a story in Yemen on honour killings, but her boss at the current affairs TV programme Newsline has other ideas: he is sending her to England to 'revisit Brideshead' and file a story on 1,000 years of aristocratic rule. In London, meanwhile, Daniel Bevan - eldest son of Alistair, a cousin to the Queen - is struggling to write his regular piece for the Spectator while attempting to kick the demon drink by attending Alcoholics Anonymous. His girlfriend has thrown him out so he's staying with his younger brother Rory, who is strictly teetotal. But when Daniel wakes in the night, desperate for a drink, a chain of events unfolds which leaves Rory with more responsibilities than he has previously bargained for. Using a neat narrative device, Pollen gets inside the heads of both of her protagonists, mixing their stories with a deft touch and much situational humour. Rory has set up his own business helping poverty-stricken aristocrats make money out of their crumbling mansions, and Maggie enlists his services, finding it harder than she anticipated to get the ruling classes to confide in front of the camera. When she stumbles across a 'real' story, she begins to realize she has a conflict of interests. Will she or won't she dish the dirt? Hunting Unicorns began its life as a screenplay, and Pollen displays a consistently sure touch with her locations, moving between them with a convincing amount of detail. She possesses a good eye for comic situations, but knows that comedy is only one half of the story. As Daniel puts it: 'You drink, snort, take pills, it's only ever about trying to find a place where you can be happy.' What seems at first to be a deceptively light read ends up as an often hilarious and frequently poignant race-to-the-finish. (Kirkus UK)
Bella Pollen is a writer and journalist who lives in Notting Hill, London and writes for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines.
In Stock: 28 copies