I first discovered Katie Fforde’s books about 8 years ago when I was feeling down in the dumps and asked a bookseller friend to recommend something that would cheer me up and not be too taxing on the brain. She recommended Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde and ever since then I have devoured most of her others (and still wait with eager anticipation for any new releases).
That said, the last few years, her books seem to have been lacking some of the magic of her earlier ones for some reason. I always liken Fforde’s books to a soothing balm or a warm, cosy blanket but for whatever reason the latest few have not lived up to their predecessors for me.However, as muchThe Perfect Match was not of the calibre of her earlier books (for me) I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it and always looked forward to getting back to it.
Ok so the things I didn’t like about this book: Bella, our protagonist. I never really connected with her at all; she never jumped off the pages for me, with secondary characters such as Jane Langley and even the Agnews who are hardly in it, feeling more rounded than Bella. What I love about Katie Fforde’s books is that they always have simple, honest women at the centre (but women who have a backbone at least). Bella needed a serious shake in my opinion: she had stayed with a man she didn’t even much like for two years and when he “announced” that they were getting married she didn’t even respond, just moaned about it instead. Now I know that Nevil (the “fiance”) was meant to be a pig and we’re not meant to like him but when he constantly has digs at Bella for being too fat, she just accepts it. I felt like yelling at her to stand up for herself! To be honest, I never really bought the whole Bella story at all so it was fortunate that her housemate and godmother, Alice, was having a romance of her own as I routed far more for her than I did for Bella.
I love Katie Fforde books and will always look forward to the latest book each year but this one lacked the sparkle of her older books. I’m not sure if the author is running out of steam or ideas or what but the last few have felt lacklustre for me. Having said that, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you’ve never read a Katie Fforde book and you like comfort reads then do yourself a favour and pick one up, but maybe start with Practically Perfect, The Summer of Love, Love Letters or Flora’s Lot.