My favourite books from my March reading are:
Katie Fforde - A Perfect Proposal
Sophie is taken for granted by her family, so she jumps at the chance to visit her friend in New York. There, a chance encounter leads her to befriend Matilda, an elderly ex-pat. Matilda's grandson Luke, a 'preppy' good-looking lawyer, seems to resent their friendship, especially when Sophie returns to England with a mission from his grandmother to find a house in Cornwall to that she loved as a child. Luke soon follows, and attraction and sparks are ignited as they join forces on the search. He's really not her type, and surely he only wants one of those perfect American girls that Sophie met when she was over there - or is that actually the case? A novel with likeable characters, written in Katie Fforde's trademark warm-hearted style.
Val Wood – No Place for a Woman
Aged four, Lucy survives the train crash that killed her parents. Her uncle and his wife move from London to Hull to look after the little girl. She grows up in the company of her step-cousin, Oswald, and her playmates are the housekeeper’s nieces and nephews. Lucy is determined to qualify as a doctor like her father, but in the early years of the twentieth century this is a difficult path. As she embarks on her dream, she begins to discover more about her parents, and also has to face up to prejudice from many in the medical profession. With the advent of World War 1, Lucy, her friends and family are caught up in the heart of the conflict. The war scenes are dealt with vividly and sympathetically, while the characters from different walks of life are tackled with the author’s usual sensitivity and artistry. Family tensions and troubles are woven with tender romance and loyal friendship. Val Wood is always a compelling and authentically historic writer, but this to me is her best novel yet.
Alison Winn Scott - In Twenty Years
On their last day at Penn University in America, Bea persuades her five friends to write down their hopes and dreams for the future, so that they can revisit them at their proposed reunion twenty years later. By the time this comes, the friends are splintered - simmering undercurrents have split friendships, new relationships have been forged, and Bea is no longer with them. But she left instructions with her solicitor to bring the remaining five back to the campus where they lived together as students. With some reluctance they gather together on Walnut Street where they have to face their grief for Bea, their relationships with each other, and the realities of the lives they have forged in those twenty years. Compelling characters, a story that pulls in the reader, and well written.