– Poppy Loves Book Club –
‘Man at The Helm’ by Nina Stibbe
(And I have 10 copies to give away!)



NEXT DATE: Wednesday 29th October, 7:30pm
TITLE: ‘Man at The Helm’ by Nina Stibbe, published by Penguin, August 2014


From the author of the much loved ‘Love, Nina’ comes a wildly comic, brilliantly sharp-eyed novel about a family’s fall from grace and the horrors of being an attractive divorcée in an English village in the 1970s.

‘There was Mrs Lunt, who, whatever our mother called her, was always helpfully around and though definitely not in the nanny role (for she hated children and said they gave her the horrors) was a comforting presence and made wonderful little jam tarts, with different coloured jams, which we called pot-dots. “There’s nothing quite like a jam tart to cheer a person,” she used to say, and although that was the only nice thing she ever said, it was nice and she said it often.’

I have 10 copies of this title to give away! Just pop over to my book club group to enter.


For those of you that are new to Poppy Loves Book Club, my aim is to see women all around the world reading the same book at the same time.. and then coming together online to discuss it, no matter where they are.



“The idea you have created: women all around the world reading the same book at the same time is wonderful and empowering…” -Lee Rourke, author of Vulgar Things.

“Poppy’s Book Club is a delight. A group of passionate and avid readers who love to talk about books. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening.” -Elizabeth Fremantle, author of Queen’s Gambit.

Poppy Loves Book Club - Notting Hill at Book and Kitchen

Poppy Loves Book Club – Notting Hill at Book and Kitchen

So no matter how old you are, where you live, or what your family, friends or financial situation is, there is a group of women waiting to meet you, who will welcome you and your thoughts on books, life and anything else that pops up… (You’d be surprised…)



I’m very pleased to announce that our next book club date is Wednesday 29th October, 7:30pm and our new book is Man at The Helm by Nina Stibbe, published by Penguin. (You can pick up a copy over here.) I am thrilled to announce that Nina Stibbe will also be joining us online!


Nina Stibbe, by Rii Schroer

To join this discussion, in real life or online, please click here.

Look forward to seeing you there and thank you for signing up – it’s great to have you on board!




Man at the Helm, the debut novel from Nina Stibbe – the much-loved author of Love, Nina – is a wildly comic, brilliantly sharp-eyed novel about the horrors of being an attractive divorcée in an English village in the 1970s, and a family’s fall from grace . . .

My sister and I and our little brother were born (in that order) into a very good situation and apart from the odd new thing life was humdrum and comfortable until an evening in 1970 when my mother listened in to my father’s phone call and ended up blowing her nose on a tea towel – a thing she’d only have done in an absolute emergency.

Not long after her parents’ separation, heralded by an awkward scene involving a wet Daily Telegraph and a pan of cold eggs, nine-year-old Lizzie Vogel, her sister and little brother and their now divorcée mother are packed off to a small, slightly hostile village in the English countryside. Their mother is all alone, only thirty-one years of age, with three young children and a Labrador. It is no wonder, when you put it like that, that she becomes a menace and a drunk. And a playwright.

Worried about the bad playwriting – though more about becoming wards of court and being sent to the infamous Crescent Home for Children – Lizzie and her sister decide to contact, by letter, suitable men in the area. In order to stave off the local social worker they urgently need to find a new Man at the Helm.

‘All hail a book that’s funny!’ Barbara Trapido

‘[A] joyous read, full of wit and charm . . . I am already longing for Nina Stibbe’s next book’ Observer
‘Nine-year-old Lizzie (our narrator) is the perfect conduit for her creator, just the right mixture of childhood innocence and incredulity for the necessary deadpan delivery of Stibbe’s particular brand of comedy. Read it and be charmed’ Independent
‘A beguilingly comic blend of naivety and precociousness’ Sunday Times

Nina Stibbe was born in Leicester. She is the author of the hugely acclaimed, Love, Nina. She now lives in Cornwall with her partner and two children. Man at the Helm is her first novel.


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2 thoughts on “– Poppy Loves Book Club –
‘Man at The Helm’ by Nina Stibbe
(And I have 10 copies to give away!)

  1. Man at The Helm sounds brilliant and I’ve just joined your book club.

    Do you know what village that second picture is? I recognise it and I can’t remember where it is, it’s really bugging me now.

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