Published by Century
Publication date – 18 February 2021
Source – review copy
Lizzy has just arrived in London and is determined to make the best of her new life.
Her mother may be keen that she should meet a Suitable Man and have a nice wedding in the country, but Lizzy is determined 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 to a grand but rundown house in Belgravia with two of her best friends.
Soon Lizzie’s life is so exciting that she has forgotten all about her mother’s marriage plans for her.
All she can think about is that the young man she is falling in love with appears to be engaged to someone else…
Lizzie has been sent to London to attend a course, where she can learn the skills she’ll need to be a good housewife. It’s 1963 and soon Lizzie has fallen in love with London, made new best friends and found a life she wants to lead. She may have also found love with the brother of one of her friends. The downside? He’s already involved with someone else. When events take a turn and Lizzie’s life will be changed forever, has she lost her chance at love and a wedding in the country?
I always look forward to a new Katie Fforde novel and so I couldn’t wait to start A Wedding in the Country. Once I’d started, it didn’t take me long to get lost in the story and to quickly find myself at the last page.
The reader is introduced to Lizzie as she starts on her domestic course, cooking and sewing, which she is attending due to her mother’s hope it will help her land a good husband. Whilst she starts out knowing only her aunt, Lizzie quickly becomes firm and fast friends with some of the other girls on the course and we see as her life takes an interesting turn.
The fact is this story wouldn’t have worked if the book was set in the present day. Lizzie’s mother’s obsession with Lizzie marrying soon and marrying well would have been the exception rather than the norm in the 21st Century. Short skirts wouldn’t have elicited sharp words and derision. Pregnancy before marriage is no longer the cardinal sin it was in the 1960s. A person’s sexuality would no longer be against the law. But Lizzie and her friends are rather forward in their thinking, wanting to carve out careers and not be tied down.
There is a warmth and friendliness that suffuses the pages of A Wedding in the Country. It’s hard to dislike any of the characters, even the stuffy parents are a product of their time and so it easier to forgive their somewhat archaic social beliefs.
Lizzie’s move to London is an eye-opener. She has led a sheltered life with her parents and now she is blossoming as she makes new friends and learns new skills. She appears older than she is and when circumstances change and she has to face a future that was unpredicted, she approaches it with an air of calm that many in her situation, at the same point in history, would not have faced in such a manner.
It’s very hard to say much without giving the story away. Picking up a new Katie Fforde book is always a pleasure and I spent a few happy hours transported back 60 years to spend time with Lizzie and her friends.
Whilst this may have been a departure time wise, A Wedding in the Country is still full of the warm characters and charm readers always know they can find in a Katie Fforde novel. As lovely as ever.