Harriet Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Harriet

Harriet becomes an unmarried mother and finds work as a nanny, eventually falling in love with her employer. Harriet is a student at Oxford University, studying English. She is fairly naive, and so easy prey for playboy Simon when he knocks her off his bike with his car. They begin an affair which ends abruptly when Simon's regular girlfriend returns to him. Shortly afterwards Harriet finds out she is pregnant and goes to Simon who gives her the money for an abortion.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Harriet can't go through with the abortion and decides to keep the baby, much to the disapproval of her parents and landlady. She has to drop out of University, and finding living with her parents unbearable she searches for a live in job. Desperate to find anything she takes a job looking after the two children of a busy writer in the north of England

Cory, the writer, has finally kicked out his wayward wife, the beautiful Noel, after many years of suffering her infidelity. Harriet settles in to the house, making friends with another local nanny, providing stability for the two spoilt and insecure children and helping Cory with his writing, gradually falling for him but not realising it fully.

The Noel returns, and becomes jealous of Harriet's relationship with Cory; she sees how close they are before they have realised themselves. She seeks out Simon and bribes him to return to Harriet and seduce her, which works until Harriet overhears Simon and Noel talking on the phone about their plan.

Harriet leaves, realising it is Cory that she is in love with and seeks him out in London, only to find that he has not returned to Noel at all but is madly in love with her too, and missing her a lot, cue happy ending.

The whole book is spattered with funny, heart warming scenes, plenty of wayward animals, such as Sevenoaks the dog and sweet moments form the children.
Best part of story, including ending: I love the descriptions of misbehaving dogs and the funny lines from the little girl, Chattie

Best scene in story: I love the scene when Kit (Cory's brother) tries to seduce Harriet and has to write lines to apologise

Opinion about the main character: I like Harriet's courage and bravery in the face of disapproval from all sides, including her mother

The review of this Book prepared by Joanna McGurk a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of Harriet

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Love Triangles/Polygons    -   Yes What kind:    -   2 or more women-2 or more men

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   writer Age/status:    -   20's-30's

Main Female Character

   -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   nanny

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death How explicit is the sex?    -   vague references only Focus of story    -   equally on him and her How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Harriet

Jilly Cooper Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian