Paris in the spring

Elen Caldecott, Operation Eiffel Tower

You can’t believe how refreshing I found it to read about siblings – four of them – who don’t hate each other and who don’t constantly fight! How did I know I wanted to read Elen Caldecott’s Operation Eiffel Tower just now? It’s been hanging around for a while, but one day I simply pulled it out from under about fifteen other books and read it in more or less one sitting.

It felt right. Paris in the spring. Except in the book it’s summer. And it’s not Paris, as such. It’s more ersatz Paris, but it will do.

Lauren and Jack and their younger siblings Ruby and Billy realise they need to save their parents’ marriage. Too much arguing and eventually separating. What to do? Send them to Paris for a romantic dinner, of course.

So they begin to save, and then to search for money making ventures, in order to find the magic £200 it will cost, plus the £40 for the dinner.

Things go wrong, but they don’t keep sniping at each other. The parents do enough of that. The children work hard at what they see as the most important thing for them. And with a little bit of help from friends – and people they encounter around town – they manage something which is almost Paris.

This is a wonderful book from beginning to end. Elen even has ‘former’ characters doing cameo roles. It’s just nice. And in the end no child actually had to be sold to raise funds.

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