national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


If one is in the mood for very light romantic fluff then Fforde is the way to go and this book is certainly no exception. (Review by Fiona de Goede)

Katie Fforde’s A Wedding in the Country takes place in London, it’s the swinging sixties and 19-year-old Lizzie cannot wait to start living her life in earnest and spread her wings, away from her small-town upbringing.  She is enrolled on a cookery course with several other young girls and very soon she has made friends with Meg and Alexandra, two of the other participants on the course.  Their lecturer is a formidable Frenchwoman and she keeps the participants on their toes.

Lizzie’s mom has high ambitions for her only daughter and the idea of the cookery course is to enable her to snare the right young man, have a beautiful country wedding and settle down to wedded bliss. Since the day Lizzie was born, her mother has started saving for her wedding in the country, she knows how the wedding dress will look, who she’ll invite and the choice of flowers in the church is all part of her vision for her daughter’s perfect wedding. All her life, Lizzie has been happy to be guided by her mother, to not rock the boat and to go with the flow. However, she soon realises that there is perhaps more to life than what her mother seems to have in mind for her.

Lizzie breaks out of her shell and buys a short modern dress, changes her hairstyle and moves into a grand, shabby old house in Belgravia with her two new friends from the cookery class. Exciting outings and meeting new people, some rather exotic, and not quite the people her mother had in mind, make an appearance in Lizzie’s new life.

An invitation to a weekend in the country changes her life forever – she starts falling in love with a young man but he seems to be on the verge of becoming engaged to someone else. Hugo is everything she has ever dreamt of but Electra, the intended fiancĂ©e, intimidates Lizzie and seems to have Hugo eating out of the palm of her hand.

Katie Fforde is a prolific writer and apparently a number one bestselling author to boot. It seems she has penned 26 previous novels of which I have, over the years, read a couple. Needless to say, she has a tried and tested formula and, as is usual with this specific genre, all’s well that ends well.

There were several times, whilst wading through more than 400 pages of this book, that I honestly felt that this Fforde offering was rather timid and quite predictable. The characters were insipid and one dimensional and the dialogue veered toward the ludicrous. If, however, one is in the mood for very light romantic fluff  then Fforde is the way to go and this book is certainly no exception. - Fiona de Goede

A Wedding in the Country is published by Penguin Random House South Africa. ISBN 978-1-780-89759-2