Leaving Patrick

Leaving Patrick
By Prue Leith


A husband and wife who increasingly live in difference worlds. Patrick doesn't hit her. He's not unfaithful. But is this it? For ever? Is fond comfort all that's left? Jane is terrified that it is. So at 36 she walks out on her marriage and embarks on a passionate affair and a bid for the top in her City firm.

Meanwhile Patrick falls for baby-faced Stella, who could lose him more than his peace of mind. She could lose him his restaurant business.


Read an Extract

Jane stood in the bleak grey of Terminal One, her briefcase and computer hanging from her slight shoulders as she rummaged in her handbag for her telephone. Her long hair, shiny and dark, slithered forward as she bent her head, covering her face and impeding her search. Her thin fingers scrabbled blind for the cellphone’s familiar shape. Bingo. Extracting it carefully, she shook back her hair, revealing an oval face with a high forehead over far-apart brows and deep green eyes. Her nose was straight and little bony, but was compensated for by a sensuous mouth, and a clear Celtic complexion. A good-looking thirty-something face, but right now lacking animation or beauty.

Holding the telephone in her right palm she pressed the button with the practiced thumb of the same hand. No signal. She walked to the smeary plate glass, and faced the wet tarmac. Network busy. She kept trying as her gaze swung back to the Arrivals Hall. The luggage carousel was unmoving and empty, the waiting passengers stoical, like refugees.



Leith writes with depth, making us root for both country boy Patrick and urbane Jane.
— People
Leith is an accomplished storyteller who writes with pace.
— Woman and Home
As recipes for a beach read go, Leith’s novel is pukka fare.
— Independent
Leith - one of Britain’s most renowened chefs - has written a charming first novel about a wife’s holiday from a marriage gone stale. Leith maintains a credible tension until the final page. Her colourful Indian travelogue and insider’s view of the food service business breathe new life into a fairly standard plot. This lighthearted romantic confection is sure to win a new legion of readers here.
— Publisher's Weekly
An engrossing and assured first novel from Prue Leith about married professionals and their relationships.

Realising her marriage has gone astray, partly because of the strains put upon it by her highly paid, highly demanding job as a lawyer, Jane decides to leave her restaurateur husband Patrick. Escaping from it all on holiday in India, she meets Rajiv, who shows her a side of life she realizes she’s been missing for too long.

Meanwhile, back in London, Patrick is trying to pick up the pieces. A warm, cultured, ex-army man who desperately wants a family life, he is quickly entranced by the beautiful young food critic Stella. Soon he is willing to do anything to keep her, even if it means putting his business on the line.

As Patrick and Jane embark on their new relationships, it seems as if they’ve managed to put their own failed marriage behind them. But the past has a way of coming back to haunt you and long-standing, emotional ties are hard to sever…..
— Penguin
High pwered city lawyer Jane leaves here eponymous husband and travels to India where she falls for Rajiv, the tour guide. Back in London Patrick becomes involved with the treacherous journalist Stella whilst he battles to save his ailing restaurant. But has Jane thrown away the real thing without even realising it? A captivating debut novel by the famous restaurateur.
— Publishing News
A light novel by the celebrity cook about a marriage break-up. The wife goes off to India and has an affair, while the husband, a restaurateur, takes on a new lady and the task of renovating a run-down pub. The India and restaurant bits are interesting, although the treatment of relationships is not so different from others in this genre. But it is an original at a good price, and with an attractive cover. No doubt there will be a lot of coverage, helped by a big push from Penguin.
— Penguin Original

Interviews, Audio and Video

Good Housekeeping by Trevor Grove


In the nicest possible way, Prue Leith is a busy body. She's so busy it makes your head swim. Despite the use of abbreviations such as 'Chm Restauranteurs' Assoc of GB' her Who's Who entry run to a whacking 27 lines. The nearly twice as long as Margaret Thatcher's during who premiership Prue was awarded OBE.

Apart from her gastronomic achievements, which include founding a Michelin-starred restaurant in Notting Hill and a thriving cookery school in Kensington, penning food columns for national newspapers, presenting three television series, re-inventing the British Rail sandwich and writing or co-writing a dozen cookery books, Prue has sat on so many boards, trusts, foundations, forums, associations, councils and committees that you feel she should have her own seat at the UN.

  • Click here to read the interview by Trevor Grove in full (22kb .pdf)



Leaving Patrick is set in three main locations: Rajasthan where Jane and her sister-in-law go on holiday and Jane meets Rajiv, London, where Patrick's restaurant and marriage are both floundering, and the Cotswolds, where some sort of resolution is found.