Regular readers of my reviews may remember that I admit to having been a fan of Katie Fforde's writing since 1995. Picking up her latest novel is alwa Regular readers of my reviews may remember that I admit to having been a fan of Katie Fforde's writing since 1995. Picking up her latest novel is always a guarantee of finding a story to provide one with perfect relaxation reading, romantic plots with a feel good factor. 'The Perfect Match' is her twentieth romantic contemporary novel written in her inevitable warm and witty style with the sort of ending one has come to expect! Cannot say that this was a favourite though as it felt superficial with no depth to the storyline, although I did enjoy the characterisations, particularly of 'wimpy' Bella and 'fiesty' Alice. Bella irritated me no end with her behaviour, yet Alice I admired, maybe as being of a similar age I thought go for it girl!
I will just give you a brief synopsis of the storyline, to tempt you to pick up 'The Perfect Match' if this is a genre you enjoy. The female protagonists are Bella and Alice, the former is Alice's god-daughter and they share a delightful home together in the Cotswolds. Bella had moved in with her god-mother three years previously when she left her home town after a disastrous affair, if one could call it that. Now successfully working as an estate agent in the area and dating her boss, Bella may well have thought she was settled but the balance is about to be upset. She finds her boyfriend is not all she thought and her ex love turns up in the village! As for Alice, in contrast to Bella a much more likeable character, still single at 60 she suddenly finds herself falling for a younger man after a chance meeting. Alice finds the situation difficult especially when she has to meet her lovers adult children, but she is a strong lady, who proves it does not matter how old you are when you fall in love.
To say more would spoil the story line, so I just recommend to Katie Fforde fans and fans of the genre if you have not yet discovered her writing. Her novels are perfect for when you are in the mood for a touch of romance, presented in a readable novel with the inevitable happy ending that one can relax with.
I first took an interest in this author’s writing in 2001 when her first novel Meet Me Under The Umbo Tree wNB: Title in USA is 'The Woman From Paris'
I first took an interest in this author’s writing in 2001 when her first novel Meet Me Under The Umbo Tree was published. I went on to read the next two as they were released The Butterfly Box and The Forget Me Not Sonata. It was another five years before any more of her books came my way when in 2008 I read two more of her novels Last Voyage of the Valentina and The Gypsy Madonna. It was to be another three years before I read two more of her novels, The Swallow and The Hummingbird and The French Gardener
With this latest one it seems I am still only half way through her novels. I have two more on my TBR bookshelf and do not think it will be long before I read them as they are the perfect type of novels for summer afternoons reading in the shade. Character driven contemporary fiction with story lines that are feasible if not always totally believable, but that is the joy of losing oneself in a good book. As expected I found the characters and the setting much more engaging than the story which is really just a gentle ramble to a happy ending.
Fairfield Park, a country estate that has been in the same family for generations is the setting. Think Downton Abbey but in a modern setting and you have the Frampton family, whom the author does an excellent job of describing to the reader with all their quirks and foibles. There are those you will hate instantly and those that you will love, but keep an open mind because all is not as it seems. Lady Frampton's husband has just died in a tragic accident and the day the family gathers together for his funeral, the family get a very unexpected shock! Put your disbelief aside and let the story unfold whilst you enjoy the beautiful landscapes and well portrayed characters. . Recommended to fans of Rosamunde Pilcher, especially as she is often referred to as the author who took over her place in writing contemporary fiction. By coincidence Rosamunde Pilcher retired from writing in 2000 not long before Santa Montefiore's first novel was published. She has just published her 14th so plenty to read if you have not yet discovered her writing and are a fan of contemporary romantic fiction.
Although you know right from the opening paragraphs that something dreadful has happened in Pirriwee, this compelling story keeps you guessing. Tragic Although you know right from the opening paragraphs that something dreadful has happened in Pirriwee, this compelling story keeps you guessing. Tragic yet hilarious, so much more than a murder mystery this novel kept me reading well into the night, as I kept telling myself just one more chapter!
The protagonists Jane, Maddie and Celeste are all mothers of children at Pirriwee Public School, all very different but drawn together by events at school. Jane is the single parent, new to the area, with nothing to say about her son's father. Celeste is the happily married one, also wealthy and beautiful, the envy of all the other Mums. Maddie or Madeleine is the lively one, having problems with her teenage daughter from a previous marriage. The scene is set, disaster has struck, but to find out exactly what the author takes us back to the start of the school year to tell us the whole story. The characters and their relationships are all very realistic and sadly totally believable. I say sadly as these are everyday situations that readers are going to be familiar with. Nobody's life is quite as it seems and as we are taken behind the scenes of the characters relationships with their partners and families one is pulled into the complicated webs of deceit. Bullying both mental and physical is a sad fact of life, the added drama is that all through the book you know the result is catastrophic but you do not know exactly what happened until the very end!
In conclusion an entertaining and compelling read, which gains pace as the dreadful facts emerge. Another good choice for book clubs as the story raises plenty of subjects for discussion. Fans of Sophie Hannah and Jojo Moyes will probably find they like Liane Moriarty's writing.