The Real Katie Lavender
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The Real Katie Lavender

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  562 ratings  ·  81 reviews
At 30, Katie Lavender thinks she is better than most when it comes to dealing with life's surprises. But when she gets a request to visit a solicitor, she's not expecting the dramatic turn her life is about to take. There, she receives a letter from her deceased mother that literally changes everything she ever knew about herself... The Real Katie Lavender is the delightfu...more
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Published by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jacqueline
Oh dear. this was poor.

So many things didn't work for me in this story. The most irritating by far was the narration. There were pages upon pages of description and inner thoughts for every few lines of dialogue; so much, in fact, I found myself skipping over whole sections. The thing was, every character - from the older businessman to the younger artisan chap to the usual old person who speaks their mind - all seemed to speak with the inner voice of a middle aged woman.

Then there was the 'rom...more
Dale Harcombe
Twelve months after her mother’s death, which occurred not that long after her father’s death, Katie Lavender receivers an unexpected letter from a solicitor that leaves her questioning all she ever believed about herself and her family.
In true Erica James tradition this is a joyful read about family and with a touch of romance thrown in. I liked the character of Katie and also of Cecily, the wise elderly matriarch of the Nightingale family. Any family would, I think appreciate a grandmother fi...more
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It has been a year since I read an Erica James book and was looking forward to her new offering. At 448 pages it certainly isn't a short book but I settled myself down to what I hoped would be another great book.

We meet Katie Lavender very early on as we see her get some shocking news from her solicitor. Learning that her life as she knew it was not what she thought was a great opener for me and I was soon gripped by the turn of events her life was going to take. Katie is a really likeable girl...more
Karen
I loved this book. Katie Lavender lost her dad and then her mum died. A year after her mum has been gone Katie gets made redundant as gets a phone call from a solictor asking her to go and see them so she does it there and then. When Katie meets the solictor she is handed a letter and that explains that her dad was not her real dad as her mum had a affair. Her real dad has also left a very large trust fund for her. Katie is given the details of who her dad is.

After some thought Katie tracks down...more
Sam
A chicklit - Within the first half dozen pages the reader is thrown staight into this story. It's quite fast flowing and unusually for me, I read this book within a couple of days - it had me gripped. I appreciated the way the Author understood the many feelings of bereavement. There are a lot of characters in this book, but I didn't get confused with who is who, which can sometimes be the case.

I was a little disappointed in what seemed like a rushed final few chapters. It was obvious she was t...more
Damaskcat
Katie Lavender suddenly finds her life turned upside down when she loses her job and finds out something shocking about her parents who are both dead. She finds herself involved with the charismatic and complicated Nightingale family just in the middle of a family crisis. Can Katie find out who she really is and what she wants to do with her life in the future?

I did enjoy reading this book though the Nightingale family are something of an acquired taste in my opinion and the book is mainly about...more
Marie Godley
Someone lent me this book to read and I'm glad they did,I couldn't put it down. It was easy to read with an interesting story line and okay I figured the love interest out before it happened but that's fine by me.
Beth
I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. Thought it was a bit predictable, cheesy and unrealistic in places but I loved it !! A great easy read with characters I cared about
Maryzj
I enjoyed this, despite the sad topics of death (including suicide), loveless marriages and lies. I thought it was very sensitive to the idea of coming to terms with loss, and to judging a whole person's life, not just one action.
The characters were very simply defined as good-guys or bad-guys (Gina, Rosco and Scarlet were all pretty vile really, despite their saintly turn-arounds at the end); and lots of it didn't add up - why did Neil need to steal so much money when his brother could easily a...more
Leah
Erica James is an author that has been around for quite a while and has a quite extensive back catalogue. However her books have never really appealed to me because the covers were all very bland and they looked as if they appealed to a much older audience than myself. However, some of her novels have had a bit of a make-over (a much-needed one) so when I received a proof copy of The Real Katie Lavender, I re-thought my stance. I don’t like the cover – two champagne glasses which rather harks ba...more
Diana Hockley
I am still not sure just how much I liked this book, and it's one about which I shall be thinking for some time.

As always, Ms James' work is well written and presented. The inner thoughts of her characters are portrayed realistically and the plot well thought out.

Katie Lavender is an engaging character, Lloyd is a likable hero and these two fit together very nicely. Somehow the family members came across as stereotyped - the hard mother and viciously hostile siblings - and I though I liked Stirl...more
Sue
Katie, aged thirty, has recently lost her parents and thinks she's coping fairly well. Then she loses her job, and she's beginning to wonder whether or not she really wants to stay with her frequently absent boyfriend, although he was very supportive through the time she grieved for her parents.

If all that weren't enough, she is given an unexpected letter by a solicitor, which changes just about everything. At first resistant, Katie decides to follow it up, and finds herself involved in a famil...more
LindyLouMac
Erica James is an author I have been a long time fan of, since 1996 in fact when I read A Breath of Fresh Air. The Real Katie Lavender makes the thirteenth novel of hers that I have read. After having not read any of her books for a few years this is the second in the last few months, great escapism just what I have needed recently. Her novels might not be literary but they are always well constructed, this latest one is no exception, with lots of secrets revealed.

The biggest secret of all is re...more
Vicky
An enjoyable book, free of swearing and profanity, which I had trouble putting down. I tended to skip through quite a bit of the descriptive pages though - far too many of them upon flicking through the book. I felt that some of the characters were tied up a little too neatly at the end, which I think would have gone against their nature. All in all though, an enjoyable read and I'll seek out more by this author.
Brenda
I expected a 'fluffy, chick-lit' story but was agreeably surprised as it turned out to be an emotional, thought provoking story that several times made me wonder how I would react to situations depicted within the covers of this book. recommended by our librarian for our Reading Group I am sure we will have plenty to discuss at our next meeting.
Jennifer
This was a pretty ho-hum, predictable read. A nice romance, but nothing earth shattering, and the back story with the supporting characters is maddening. In fact, I thought they all belonged in an asylum...
Gayle
I love this author and this was definitely one of her best. Usually her books are about Cheshire and Derbyshire and that became more poignant to me when I moved to the area 5 years ago. This one is about Henley-on-Thames which is well-known to me from childhood but there was even a mention of Meganisi and sailing flotillas which are also very close to my heart!
The characters and the plot were extremely well-developed, so much so that you don't want to put the book down.
I hope I get a chance to...more
Sabine
Very enjoyable holiday read. Erica James creates great characters and plots
Helen Moyes
An easy read novel, I almost read in one evening.
Identity, Integrety & a little Intrigue.
Subplots are about control, wealth, how you know someone is the "one" for you, friendship, gardening, parenthood, adoption, family ties secrets & relationships.
My heroine is not the 30 year old main character, but the 90 year old grandmother, even though I am nearer the main character's age!!
In the end the "nasty characters" become nicer, friends and family stand by each other, and fresh starts are m...more
Ciara Bardon
Not a great book.

The characters were rather one-dimensional - the bitter wife, the selfish son, the selfish daughter who turns into the unselfish daughter when her own child is born, the feisty straight-talking matriarch, the quirky friend, the gay hairdresser. They were all cliches.

The story wasn't super-interesting. It all worked out in the end but I didn't care enough about any of them to be that invested in the ending.

Not very well written either.
Two stars as I finished it to the end but...more
Zoe Perrett
Like others I found parts easy to skip over. The book is what it is an easy, light hearted read.
Sue
Great plot and plenty of emotions. A very enjoyable read.
Alison Barton
Thought it was fantastic - couldn't put it down.
Reetta Saine
Pollyanna ja naisten takaisin kotiin-liike yhdessä :/. Vaikka sinänsä vakavia tai hauskoja asioita yritettiin käsitellä niiden vaatimilla tunteilla, heitti koko homma aina yli ja kuuntelija päätyi raastamaan hiuksiaan raivosta.

Laura Dickinson
I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy but thoughtful read, with likeable, well-drawn characters and an interesting subject matter and storyline.

Although, Erica James' novels are generally what I would class as holiday reading, this one in particular deals with some difficult issues such as suicide and family loyalty.

It's one of those books you can read quickly and you just want to pick up whenever you have 5 minutes!
Jennifer
Whilst this was an excellent antithesis to my dissertation, I did not find as satisfying as some of James' other books. There was one storyline I fully immersed myself in, but the others I got frustrated with and it all got rounded very suddenly, rapidly and easily, which is very different to how James usually finishes things. Good, but didn't feel like it had the substance of her other books.
Olivia Helen


This was my first Erica James novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the first page I was intrigued to see what was to happen to Katie Lavender. The characters were all meaty, with a lot of emotion and I warmed to all of them, even the 'not so nice' characters. I would recommend this book to my girlfriends as a perfect holiday read.
Aileen
I really enjoyed this book, there are a lot of Characters in the book, and the reader is introduced to them gradually, I was worried I wasn’t going to remember them all, but it was done in a way that made the book easy to read and follow, I would definitely recommend and will look out for more books by this Author in the future.
Melanie
Very much enjoyed this book.

Most of Erica James books are enjoyable, light, holiday reading and this is no exception.

I love how you really get in to the characters lives and you can picture them in your head and at times want to smack them over it when they are being silly.

Any book that reads like a movie is ok with me.
Louise
I did enjoy this book , I read it on holiday which was ideal... Girl meets boy falls in love and then has a misunderstanding which must be resolved in order to reach the happy ending. However in this instance the misunderstanding is a complex arrangement of family secrets, affairs and adoptions. Great hero I really liked him !
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With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

T...more
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