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The Real Katie Lavender

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3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,107 Ratings  ·  126 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,875)
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Jacqueline
Aug 03, 2012 Jacqueline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Maia
Oct 26, 2014 Maia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this is certainly not the kind of book I read, much less one I'd normally want to comment on - I picked it up at the airport, for my flight to the Uk to see family. I've read one or two other Erica James novels, all pretty similar but pleasant in a mild, good-natured slightly too sugary and simplistic way. I'd read these books, usually at airports or planes or trains or, maybe, sunbathing on holiday - then promptly forget all about them. Period.

But this one is staying with me -- and annoying
...more
Sam
Aug 26, 2012 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gayle
Mar 18, 2012 Gayle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dale Harcombe
Oct 13, 2013 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Best Crime Books & More
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
Sandy
Oct 06, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable easy read.
Believable characters and well written.
Mjhancock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Damaskcat
Mar 13, 2014 Damaskcat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
2.5*
At 30, a year after the death of her mother, Katie Lavender receives a letter from a solicitor that literally changes everything she ever thought about herself and her family.

I have mostly enjoyed Erica James' books.

This one held few surprises, and was fairly predictable.

I did like the characters of the matriarch of the Nightingale Family, Cecily and one of her daughters-in-law Pen. They were each in their own way compassionate, strong women, and were the highlight of this book for me.

I may
...more
Ozone-nut/ Zoe
Poor, predictable, twee, trite, full of inaccuracies (by which I mean we are told facts which contradict facts we were given only pages earlier). Some people have rated this book very highly so there must be something to it, but I failed to see what.
Marie Godley
Aug 11, 2012 Marie Godley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2014 Maryzj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
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
LaSibila
Katie, una mujer de 30 años que ha perdido a TODA su familia a través de los años, recibe una carta post morten de su madre donde le confiesa el nombre de su verdadero padre. Buscando conocer a su padre, se cuela en una fiesta disfrazada de camarera donde la reconoce su abuela. Hasta aquí la historia promete, pero luego hay una secuencia de eventos "inesperados" como un suicidio, problemas padre-hijo, engaños amorosos, crisis de los 50... Meh... Todo termina con un gran moño, pero no tiene mucho ...more
Leah
Nov 07, 2011 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2012 Diana Hockley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 21, 2013 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2013
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
Feb 02, 2014 LindyLouMac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Erinkhor
Aug 26, 2015 Erinkhor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't wait to finish this book, not in a good way. There are some parts that made me laugh but the rest are mostly long and boring and things just feel like they are dragging on and on and on. The only thing I like about this book is the picturesque countryside by the river that I imagined in my head, that's it. The storyline is just mehh. None of the characters are captivating enough to keep me reallllllly interested.
Louise Simms
Not my favourite book of Erica James'. To be honest it's probably a perfectly good book, I just didn't bond with the character they were all a bit wishy washy and convenient. Stirling in particular I found infuriating, totally, wildly self centred and a wee bit too pathetic. Had no sympathy for him. It's a shame, but it won't stop me reading another of Erica James' books as normally I really enjoy her books.
Vicky
Apr 02, 2014 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nadette Xuereb
Jul 03, 2015 Nadette Xuereb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved loved loved it! I usually love books by Erica James, and this one was no let down! I enjoyed the several points of view and loved the story line. When it wasn't going well, I felt myself cringing for them, but felt that I could relate to the characters. My favourites were Stirling and Lloyd, although Stirling did screw up a little bit :) The story was realistic and captured the awkwardness of having an illegitimate daughter.

5*, well done Erica!
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.
Maureen Kenyon
The storyline is good but I found it was all falling into place just a bit too conveniently at times. Some good characterisation and I can see how the author was trying to portray the depths of despair people may find themselves in after the death of someone close to them. However I feel it went a bit far at times. Apart from that I enjoyed reading the book.
Badirene
Feb 04, 2015 Badirene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Crammed packed with every cliche you can think of. I honestly just finished this book so I could say it did not defeat me. Also (view spoiler)
Ally
Dec 11, 2014 Ally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For the book called 'The Real Katie Lavender' there was so little talk about Katie. It seemed that all the other characters (particularly Stirling) and their problems took up most of the book. And the romance part between Katie and her beau felt so sudden and lacked conviction.

Jill
Jun 26, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a really good read I loved the story and the way that everything you do has an impact on something and someone else. A sad story in some ways but it makes you think. I always want to live in houses and villages like this
Samantha Bee
I'm a massive Erica James fan and I'm working way through her books. But this wasn't up to her usual standard. It was ok readable but very predictable and some of the characters were annoying and a bit stereotypical
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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.

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