Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wedding Season , Katie Fforde

I'm on a roll reading chic-lit books at the moment and have just finished my very first Katie Fforde book, Wedding Season, which I really enjoyed. The story is very simple and the outcome really predictable, but then, it is a total fairytale, so what else do you expect?

There are three girls who have formed a relationship with each other by working together on weddings. Sarah is the super organised, wedding planner who does not believe in love, Elsa is an accomplished dress designer who is painfully shy and always wears black in order to blend into the background and Bron is a multi-talented make-up artist, hairdresser and cake maker who is caught in a loveless relationship that she would prefer not to be in. So......bring on Hugo the mysterious, who is a well connected internationally renowned photographer, Laurence the Reliable, who is a non drinker and always called upon to be the Best Man at friends weddings and James the unkempt gardener, who is also a gifted art designer and floral artist. Voila! You know as well as I do what is going to happen and the pleasure of reading this book is that along the way some amusing things occur to the main characters and lots of other interesting people are introduced to the story. I particularly liked Fen and Rupert, Pat and her cooking pals and Mrs Lennox-Feathersone.

The characters are well drawn and the situations they find themselves in are on the whole, more or less, believable. There are a couple of things that I could not quite take on face value and had to put down to artistic license - one is that Elsa manages to make and enhance, in less than two weeks, the replica of a dress which had originally taken her two years to make from start to finish and somehow, Bron, who had had some previous success making and decorating train engine birthday cakes, manages to understand how to design, cook and decorate one of the most elaborate wedding cakes I have ever heard described and she had never actually seen the original cake herself. This all adds to the 'cuteness' of the book, in my opinion. It is a fairytale after all, so why not have a little bit of the impossible in there too! The only thing that did grate on my nerves a little was the number of times Ms Fforde linked the word 'professional' to Sarah's character. The picture portrayed is that as Sarah is a professional she could not possibly be in love, too, almost as if being 'a professional' and being in love with someone were mutually exclusive........I couldn't quite get my head around the thought process.

I can forgive all of these small things, though, because this is such a light hearted, easy, summer read which deserves to be consumed whilst sitting in the garden on a warm sunny afternoon, book in one hand and a glass of chilled white wine in the other. Lovely!

Have you read this or any other Katie Fforde books?

Which is your favourite Fforde book?

Romance novels - Love them or hate them ?


  1. Lovely review, I think Katie Fforde books are great lazy, summer day reads!

  2. I have never read any of her books. I do like reading romance books some times - especially if I have been reading something difficult.

    I loved your comment (which for some weird reason has now disappeared) about infidelity in romance books.

    I think that we must read very different romance books as the ones I've read have all been packed with infidelity. The reason I often find them annoying is that the charcters just seem so stupid and out of touch with their own emotions. It is probably realistic, but I don't like people like that and so as you say I avoid them in books as well as real life.

  3. I haven't read any Katie Fforde books before but like you I am on a bit of a roll with these types of books at the moment so I will keep an eye out for some of hers. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with romance novels - they need to feel a little realistic for me to be interested and I usually like the ones that don't have the typical Hollywood happily ever after ending (not so common!).

  4. Dot, I really liked this book and found it so light hearted and almost comical in its simplicity. It was not taxing on the mind, just good fun. Thanks for the recommendation - now I am on a Katie Fforde alert!

  5. Jackie, other than an episode relating to one of the characters which was necessary to drive the plot, there was no infidelity in this story, just plain old romance.
    The thing that struck me when I read the 'infidelity in romance novels' article you refered to in your post was not so much the content of the article itself but the comments you received afterwards. Almost everyone said they didn't like characters that were or had been unfaithful nor did they like books with infidelity in the story. It was the strength of that reaction which surprised me, I hadn't expected such powerful views.
    Like you, I really don't like books with dopey characters in them, they frustrate me and I want to shout out loud at them so I tend not to finish a book like that, or, if I detect a dope on the back cover I don't even bother buying the book in the first place.

  6. Karen, I have only just discovered Katie Fforde and Lisa Jewell myself (thanks to the lovely Dot :) and theirs were the last two books I read. They were both very enjoyable and easy to read fun-lit. Sometimes I also need a break from heavier plots and characters, as Jackie says she does in her comment, so these type of books are just the thing.
    Recently I read My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, which I reviewed three or so posts back. It is not a typical romantic story in the class of Fforde or Jewell, it is dark and the characters are obsessive and obsessed and drawn with such amazing clarity I felt as if I knew them really well. In spite of the book being classed as a mystery, I thought it could have been viewed as a romance without the happy
    ending. I don't know if you have read Rachel but if you like an unexpected, non-Hollywood type end to a story, then this might be one to look out for.