A Wedding in the Country by Katie Fforde

A Wedding in the Country is the first book that I’ve read by the very popular author Katie Fforde and I must say that it was the perfect antidote to the stress of books which I’ve recently read which feature the pandemic or terrorism in their plots.

The setting is London, 1963 and Elizabeth (Lizzie to her friends) has just enrolled in a cookery/domestic godess course, but she’s feeling rather down because most of the other students are aristocratic females who don’t really take much notice of the classes – or her. They’re being groomed to look after their future wealthy husband’s home – whoever he may be. But Lizzie has left her comfortable suburban home to get away from her parents who have her future all mapped out for her. Her mother has been planning her wedding since she gave birth to Elizabeth.

Luckily not all of the debutante types are snooty and Lizzie finds two good friends in the shape of Alexandra who invites Lizzie to stay in a large once very grand but now rather ramshackle house which she has the use of – and Meg who intends to have a career in catering. The other house-mate is David who is an older gay friend, an antique dealer who is of course completely in the closet as homosexuality is still illegal in 1963. There’s a romance which doesn’t run smooth but works out well in the end, as you would expect from the title of the book!

This book is such a great look back at a time when young women and men were just beginning to think about being able to have a life of their own instead of toeing the line and obeying their parents who already had everything planned out for their futures. I well remember when mothers of daughters just wanted to get them safely married off as fast as possible for fear that they would end up pregnant without benefit of a marriage certificate. How times have changed!

Apart from the social history aspect of the book I really enjoyed the houses, gardens, fashion, food (can you remember jap cakes?) flowers, the linen cupboard full of fabric as well as the trunk and the bags full of vintage clothes that the talented Lizzie could get her hands on. There are characters to despise and some to love. It was a real comfort read, which I was in need of.

Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a digital copy of the book for review.

8 thoughts on “A Wedding in the Country by Katie Fforde

  1. I had heard of Katie Fforde’s book so it was interesting to get your opinion. I like the setting in 1963. Maybe someday I will try one of her books.

  2. I do like Katie Fforde, they are just refreshing reads. This is one of the first where she has set it in the past, which I was unsure about but loved it.

    • Jo,
      I decided to ask for it from NetGalley after reading your review. It was quite strange to think of the 1960s as historical fiction though! I’ll read more by her in the future.

  3. I really enjoy Fforde’s books and own about 20 but not this one. One of the things I like is that her characters are fairly ordinary – they are intimidated by those posher than they are but have great capacity for friendship, which is usually what drives the plot. It is unusual for her to set a book in the past so I wonder if this is based on her own upbringing. I am glad you liked this because I felt her last few books were not as good as the early ones.

    • Constance,
      I’ll have to go back and read some of her earlier books. I susoect that she was influenced by her past. It’s slightly before my time, memory wise anyway, but my sister was a teenager in the early 1960s so parts of it seemed quite nostalgic to me.

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