Sophie is treated as a dogsbody by the rest of her family. She is practical, resourceful and ever so helpful, perhaps too helpful. Soon, she is sent by the rest of her family to care for Uncle Eric, who they describe as a cantankerous old man, with the ulterior motive of gaining his money. Sophie finds that Uncle Eric is far from evil, and soon finds out that he is involved with oil drilling shares that could make him quite a bit of money, which sends her to New York to track down an old relative. In New York, she also meets with best friend, Millie, and an old, wealthy British woman called Matilda, whom she gets on very well with. Her grandson, Luke, is wary of Sophie’s motives for becoming Matilda’s new friend. Can she persuade him that she is a genuine person?
This is a competent read. I thought that the oil-drilling story was a bit of a drag to read about and some of Sophie’s family are very horrible. There are some nice moments between Luke and Sophie, although I thought the latter stages of the story were a bit rushed. Luke doesn’t think to question Sophie about her “boyfriend”. Having behaved so coolly after Ali told him about the text, he seems to accept Sophie’s explanation a bit too readily. Also, Sophie seems to forgive him too easily. The proposal at the end seems a bit odd given that Luke and Sophie haven’t been together for too long. The idea of it becoming a “perfect proposal” is a bit nonsensical.
It’s an ok read but not one of Fforde’s best works. 2.5 stars.
Anna’s heart is set on redesigning and rebuilding a small cottage, investing her time, energy and money in it. She quickly makes friends with mother-of-three Chloe and acquires a new greyhound, Caroline. However, is the cottage too much work? Things aren’t helped by buildings inspector, Rob Hunter, who stands in the way of building her dream cottage…
Practically Perfect is a sweet, charming story, yet I think it is overlong. At times, Fforde has the tendency to drag the story out, and it feels like there is no pace to the story at tall, and makes reading it difficult. Some people may enjoy the oh-so slowness of the narrative but for me, it doesn’t always work. However, I did enjoy the story and the characters, although I thought that the argument between Anna and Rob after the fire felt a bit out of place, but this was soon resolved by a lovely ending. The appeal of this story (and generally most of Fforde’s work) is that you get drawn into the story of the main character – nothing eventful happens, it is a slow burner, although sometimes a little too slow paced for my liking. 3 stars.
Sarah is a driven career focused woman who works as a wedding planner, but refuses to believe in love herself after having her heart broken in the past, but dashing photographer Hugo is proving to be a bit of a distraction. Can he be the one to make her believe in love again? Her friends Bron and Elsa also have their own issues. Elsa is unconfident and shy, but a makeover and meeting Laurence promises to change all that. Bron is in a stale and loveless relationship with Roger and stuck in a job she abhors. Can she find the courage to break free?
Wedding Season is an easy, gentle story and the friendship between the three women is strong. Nothing momentous happens; it is a bit of a slow burner. In my opinion, it is a fine story although it takes too long to reach the ending, and this could have been tightened up in editing in my opinion. It is a story built on misunderstandings (which can be sometimes frustrating) and reluctances to move on from the past, but overall it is a pleasant, albeit slow in places, book to read. 3 stars.
Laura is a shy 26-year-old who is passionate about reading and works in a bookshop with her best friend, Grant. Unfortunately, the bookshop is going to close for good, and Laura is soon forced to consider her options for the future. Luckily for her, an author’s agent she meets at a signing event arranged by the bookshop in its closing days leads Laura to become an organiser of a local literary festival, which changes her life completely. She does new things that she never thought she would so, makes new friends, and meets a literary hero of hers, author Dermot Flynn.
Love Letters is a bit of a hit and miss story for me. Whilst I like that parts with Dermot and Laura, and the new friendships that Laura forges, there are places in the narrative which are weak and made me skip parts of the story. I also found the way in which Laura constantly pines over Dermot a bit irritating and there are sections which are dull and add nothing to the story. Some great moments but these are outweighed by some bad writing. 2.5 stars.