Cover Image: A Wedding in the Country

A Wedding in the Country

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Lizzie has just arrived in London, determined to make the best of her new life.

Her mother may be keen that she should have a nice wedding in the country to a Suitable Man chosen by her. And Lizzie may be going to cookery school to help her become a Good Wife.

But she definitely wants to have some fun first.

It is 1963 and London is beginning to swing as Lizzie cuts her hair, buys a new dress with a fashionably short hemline, and moves in with two of her best friends, one of whom lives in a grand but rundown house in Belgravia which has plenty of room for a lodger.

Soon Lizzie's life is so exciting that she has forgotten all about her mother's marriage plans for her.

I absolutely LOVED this book - the setting, the sentiments and the execution were all simply lovely.  I am usually so against non-modern day books (no idea why) but I just loved reading about the clothing Lizzie makes, the food and all the nights out.  Thoroughly enjoyed it and cant wait for the next book from one of my favourite authors.

My thanks to netgalley for an arc of this book in return for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This is a light hearted read, perfect for an afternoon’s escape.  The book brings the swinging sixties to life, and I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the meals the girls cooked, and the house parties.  I’m not sure how realistic it  is in terms of the casual acceptance of homosexuality at that time, or the reality of a single woman getting a mortgage, but it is a very pleasant read.
Was this review helpful?
A sweet-natured story stuffed full of old fashioned romance. 
For some reason it never occurred to me that that the entire book would be set in 1963, so for the first few chapters I was waiting for the ‘real’ story to take place in modern-times. The old fashioned nature of the story made my inner monologue sound much like a mix of black & white films and old BBC news readers. However, once I got over the shock of reading a brand new book, by an author who is best known for modern-day romance, I got quite into it. 
The characters were a little too ‘jolly hockey sticks’ for my liking, but that’s just the nature of the era. It is a quaint story which is a salve to the constant barrage of technology and 24/7 rolling news. Like breath of fresh air.
Was this review helpful?
I have enjoyed reading books by Katie Fforde before but I didn’t like this one as much as other ones I have read. It is set in the sixties when the heroine goes to stay with an aunt in London to take a 3 month course which covers cookery, dressmaking and floristry. Her mother then expects her to return home and find a suitable husband. Lizzie’s aunt soon realises she doesn’t want her beautiful young niece living with her as she's worried her own boyfriend is far too interested in her. 

Lizzie has to look for a cheap room to rent but a friend she meets on her course offers her a room in her own house along with another friend. The 3 girls share the house along with an older gay actor, David, who keeps a friendly eye on them. 

The book is evocative of the beginning of the swinging sixties and it ends with the wedding in the country from the title and was an easy read but I just expected more from it.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

I was super excited to see that a new Katie Fforde book was coming out! Who doesn't love a proper romance? Set in London in the 1960s, A Wedding in the Country sets up a lively narrative with lots of vibrant characters and a vivid backdrop.

This is a charming look at domestic life in 1960s England. There are lovely descriptions of London society life, and the struggles of what it meant to be a young woman during this time. The narrative is peppered with charming details, such as the introduction of garlic to English cooking, and lots of interesting comments on fashion, manners and expectations. Fforde explores relationships of all kinds - familial, romantic, platonic - but the ones that really shine are the friendships between the central women of the novel: there's a real sense of people pulling together to look after each other, which is definitely the kind of message that we need to be singing from the rooftops just now, in a perfect tonic to pandemic life.

While ultimately charming, the narration lets the narrative down: the protagonist, Lizzie, often comes across as frustratingly naive and ultimately unlikeable. I would have loved to experience the novel from the point of view of one of the other characters: all of the side character seem to have a lot more punch and vivaciousness, and I think it could have been a lot more exciting. Instead, we experience the novel from Lizzie's perspective, who as a wallflower seems to be peering into rather than experiencing the world. This felt like a missed trick to me, and even the parts of the novel where there's potential for a lot of action (for example, during the police raid of the bar), the pacing feels flat and Lizzie lacks so much gumption that a plot point that should have left me nervous and excited left me a little bored.

The pacing is a bit of an issue in itself. While lots of scenes are set up to be charmingly descriptive, with real gems of insight into London in the 1960s  (I particularly enjoyed the opening scenes at the cookery school where a chef is explaining that olive oil isn't just something you get from the chemist but can be used to enhance your cooking), this often seems to come at the expense of the plot and the pacing. We're given pages of description of how to do the washing up, but when we get close to any action (the dodgy bar, a ball, even the titular wedding) the pacing speeds up incredibly and we're sprinting through the plot, then jumping to a few days later, left feeling dizzy and wondering how we got here and why we're getting another description of buttons and canapes. 

It's an enjoyable romance, but even the central love story lacks passion. I wanted to give everyone a shake and imbibe them with a bit of the passion that the roomate Alexandra displays. I would love to read this novel again, but from Alexandra's perspective!
Was this review helpful?
This is a perfect read for a rainy day in lockdown, snuggled in a blanket with a mug of tea or coffee by your side. It's romantic without veering into cheesy, and the romance almost takes second place to the wonderful female friendship group who take centre stage.

It's 1963 and Lizzie has moved to London to take a cooking course. Here she meets Alexandra, Meg and Vanessa who become her bedrock. Lizzie has led a sheltered life, so she is exhilarated by the freedom she experiences when she moves in with her new friends. She falls hard for Hugo, but he has a girlfriend, Electra, who is manipulative and catty.

At a weekend away, she feels out of place, and overwhelmed, believing Hugo and Electra are about to announce their engagement. She tries to run away, but ends up with her life in danger. Hugo comes to her rescue and they are overcome by passion.

This one moment leads to Lizzie's life turning upside down, and it doesn't seem like she will get her happy ever after. But when Hugo breaks off his engagement, she thinks that perhaps they do have a future together, and maybe they might just have the perfect wedding in the country her mother has always wanted for her.
Was this review helpful?
You are guaranteed when you pick up a Katie Fforde book a heart warming story. Minor ups and downs with a happy ending. The main theme is the friendship group and I hope we get to know the others tales in future books.
Was this review helpful?
For fun and frivolity you can't beat Katie Fforde. Love this light-hearted story set in the swinging 60s, when Mary Quant, Twiggy and mini-skirts were all the rage and the Beatles were the latest thing. It's fun following the adventures of Lizzie and her housemates in London and watching Lizzie fall in love. A real tonic in these depressing times.
Was this review helpful?
In 1963 Lizzie moves to London to take part in a cookery class that will teach how to become the perfect wife and hostess. This is all that Lizzie’s mother wants for her, to have a big white wedding to a suitable man.
Once in London Lizzie soon finds opportunities for more than just learning how to cook. Moving into a run down house in Belgravia with two of the girls from the cookery school she finds a whole new world opening up for her. With new friends and all the excitement that London has to offer Lizzie begins to think that maybe getting married isn’t the only thing she should aim for. 
This book was the perfect antidote to the current gloomy, depressing times.
Was this review helpful?
Another lovely romantic read from Katie Fforde. Well rounded likeable characters.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Many thanks to the publishers via NetGalley for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read this book.

Lizzie arrives in London to complete a cooking school course.  She meets and becomes friends with Alexandra, Meg and Vanessa. Lizzie s auntie tells her after a short while that she can’t live with her anymore and Alexandra asks Lizzie and Meg to move into her house in Belgravia with her friend David.  Lizzie meets Hugo and falls in love however, Hugo is in a relationship with Electra. Lizzie wants to stay in London but her mom wants her to move back home and have the big wedding her has always planned for her. Will Lizzie move back home or will she stay on London. 

Another brilliant book from Katie.
Was this review helpful?
I have never actually read anything by Katie Fforde before, so beginning this book felt like I was diving into a particular world in which I'm not particularly familiar with. I tend to keep to the same types of authors when reading Women's Fiction, it is only now that I have finished the book, I have come to the conclusion that I'm confused as to why I have avoided Fforde's writing before when it clearly is good.

This book is set in the heart of the 60s and it seems like many people's ideologies of the time are present throughout. Whether that be Lizzie's parents that her one aim in life is to be a good wife, or specific views such as homosexuality and the risk it would have been back then. However, it is good to know that Lizzie, as well as her group of friends: Meg, Alexandra, David and Vanessa, take a more modern approach to how they live their lives. To the point that it kind of becomes a relief in times when there are dialogue between Lizzie's parents (I was so furious with them and how they went about trying to solve problems that weren't theirs to solve). Even though it is clear that they are a product of their time, it still doesn't stop me from wanting to slap them (sorry for being so violent).

However, don't mistake my anger of Lizzie's parents and their attitude towards life as being the only characters that made mistakes, Lizzie herself wasn't exactly an angel either. But who would want to be a perfect angel? I think that particularly for Lizzie this is her only true way to rebel against her parents and what they want from her. So that she can make her life her own, rather than having someone dictate as to how she should live. Especially, as compared to other characters, she isn't particularly vocal about what she thinks should be done and thinks sticking to the mould is easier than who she truly is.

As I move onto the romance side of the book, was I particularly fond of it? I'm not quite sure. It is not like I hated Lizzie's love story, if I am being truthful, I didn't mind it. I understand that the main premise of the book is based on how Lizzie is meant to fall in love, but maybe it feels like the lovebug was caught maybe a little too quickly? Trust me, I'm not judging, especially as times were very different and people probably didn't have the same kind of luxuries that we do now. I just wish I got to know a little bit more about Lizzie's love interest, he genuinely seems like an interesting person who I feel didn't get as much rep compared to some of the characters. Even when he did get a bit more time, it felt as though he was a secondary character and wasn't as important.

Ultimately, I did enjoy this book on the whole as it felt like a time capsule to a simpler time and this is definitely the best medicine during the current climate.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve read most of Katie Fforde's books and have enjoyed every one of them. This one was quite a lot different from her others as it was set in 1963 which I loved as I remember them well. This story had everything I love in it, friendships, romance and a lot of fun. This took me away from the cares of the world for awhile which I needed as we all do. An easy read in times of stress

My thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful read. I have to say it being set in the 1960s was a surprise and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I needn’t of worried. This was a beautiful tale of friendship, love and the changing attitudes of modern society.
Lizzie was such a wonderful character, wanting to be her best person but stopped from this my people’s attitudes and societies opinion on what is proper. Historically for me it was very interesting to see how life for youngsters in that era was. The friendships between the girls was lovely and David was an amazing character, and I’m more than a little saddened that he had to hide who he was in order to be accepted and could never have his happily ever after. 

The insta love and attraction between Hugo and Lizzie was perfect, and I knew they should be together from that first moment, and I enjoyed every twist and turn until they got that moment. Hugo’s letter to Lizzie nearly had me in tears, it was so honest and beautiful, and whilst I found it a bit odd that they couldn’t just tell each other how they felt, I could totally see how much harder it would have been to open up to feeling in that era whilst in those social circles. 
It was simply wonderful to read and I could definitely see it being made into a movie.
Was this review helpful?
Another good Katie Fforde book. I liked this story, but for me it lacked a plot but a good book to dive into and forget the current climate. There are plenty of good points. and it’s an easy-read. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC  and to Katie Fforde
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book, as I always do with Katie Fforde. I've read all of her books and enjoyed them all. They are easy going from the first few pages and it wasn't long before I couldn't put it down.

I found it unusual originally that Katie had chosen to set this book in the 1960's, as I don't remember any of her other books being set in anything other than the present. However, it was a refreshing change and it soon become apparent why this story was set then. I loved the developing friendships that Lizzie came across in London, leaving behind her sheltered life in the Home Counties. It still amazes me how different attitudes were in the 1960's, although it was the decade when things slowly started to change. A really enjoyable read, thank you.
Was this review helpful?
Reviewing a Katie Fforde book is easy as I have never read a book of hers that I haven't loved. This particular one is no exception.
A little different from her usual books as instead of being set in present day, it is set entirely in the Swinging Sixties.
It tells the story of a newly formed friendship between four girls from different backgrounds, three of whom become housemates.
Dinner parties, weekend parties and all the etiquette that goes with it. Being looked down upon and ridiculed by the high and mighty snobs of the elite. 
And falling in love with someone who seems so out of reach because the class divide.
Was this review helpful?
I am never disappointed with a Katie Fforde book.  They are always a great read and A Wedding in the Country is no exception.  A total feel good page turner.
Was this review helpful?
Lizzie an only child is sent to a finishing school in London to learn the art of cooking, flower arranging etc to become the best wife she can be – a skill according to her mother is essential in gaining a husband in the future.  She begins the course and is staying with her Aunt but that does not work out well. There are not many students in the school but most of them are from well to do families with topics of conversation around their coming of age etc balls which Lizzie will not have.  She meets Meg and they begin a friendship which she cannot see she will have with the other girls.  However, Alexandra turns out to be different from the rest and the three girls become close.  Lizzie is looking for somewhere to stay and goes to visit a flat which is terrible but she meets Hugo who is also looking at the flat which neither of them take.  Lizzie mentions to Meg and Alexandra that she needs somewhere to stay and they move into Alexandra’s home.  The story continues in a very sweet way and Hugo comes back into Lizzie’s life.  One thing leads to another and happiness happens including Lizzie’s mother being thrilled with the choice of husband even though Lizzie is so young.  I enjoyed the story especially the chapters when the girls lived together with David who was also staying in Alexandra’s house
Was this review helpful?
A gentle romantic storyline to lighten spirits in a dark time. Set in the 1960s Lizzie is dominated by her mother  but in sending her to a cookery/ finishing school her mother unconsciously  provides her with the wherewithal to create an escape route. A story of love conquers all.
Was this review helpful?