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Katie Fforde -Going Dutch - a disappointing read!
Going Dutch - Katie Fforde
Member Name: karlsm93
Going Dutch - Katie Fforde
Advantages: Not a lot
Disadvantages: Too much about boating, unrealistic characters
I have recently reviewed another novel by the author and although I did enjoy the plot line, I wasn't overly keen on the writing at times. In a bid to pass the time whilst waiting for baby to arrive, I had picked up a selection of novels from the local library, two of which were by Katie Fforde. The second that I am now reviewing is called 'Going Dutch' although the cover of my book is slightly different from that at the top of the screen.
Going Dutch is a story based around two central female characters - Jo, a older, almost divorcee, now living on a barge after her husband has left her for a younger model, and Dora, who comes to stay with Jo, in a bid to escape a mess that she has left behind when she cancels her wedding at the last minute, realising that she really doesn't love the man she has been with for years. Dora has been best friends for years with Jo's daughter Karen, which is why the two women end up living together on the barge. Dora cannot stand living with her rather critical Mum after leaving her fiance, and feels that she needs to get away from everything, and since Jo has had her fair share of problems, she is only too glad to have a houseguest upon the barge that she is living on. Her ex husband has remained in their marital home with his young, now pregnant partner.
Obviously this is a chick lit novel, so there will always be the eligible men around. Not long after arriving at the barge, her new home, Dora ends up sitting beside Tom, who works at the boatyard, and is quite different from her previous boyfriend/fiance. It is quite a while into the novel before we meet Jo's love interest, a man called Marcus, whom she has known from a long time ago, but re emerges when it turns out the barge that the two women are living on, needs to be taken to Holland, and the only qualified person to do so is Marcus. Marcus however has a bit of a reputation with the ladies, and when he invites his younger, and rather lazy girlfriend on the trip to Holland, it doesn't look that Jo will get it together with Marcus at all. On the other hand, Dora is trying not to fall for the rather wild, carefree Tom, who not only gets her a new job at the boat house, but tries to get her to find her wild side with some dares!
Like most women, I like the chick lit romance side of the novel, but to be perfectly honest, I thought that was completely overshadowed with so much information and talk about boats and barges, to the point that I lost interest about half way through the book. At the beginning, I read and read, hardly putting it down, but by the middle, it was a struggle to finish the book, although I am glad I did. In the previous book of Katie Fforde's that I read, I commented that I didn't always find the conversations that she had between characters really that honest and true. Most of the men always seemed too good to be true, always full of compliments, and always trying their hardest for their female love interest, which may reflect some men, but in reality, not always! Some of the episodes in the book in regards to Jo and her ex husband were a little all over the place in my opinion and again, I don't think were terribly reflective of real life. Yes, I know it is fictional, but I have read other novels recently, in which the conversations reflect everyday conversations, the characters have their obvious flaws, and there is generally a more believable aspect to the book.
All in all, I was very disappointed with this novel. It has kind of put me off Katie Fforde as a writer, especially after reading some other novels I picked up in the library by the likes of Sinead Moriarty and Freya North, who write much more plausible storylines and interactions between characters. There was far far too much information about boating which made me completely lose interest. I read to the end, but I wouldnt' say I was enthralled.
Summary: A rather boring and disappointing read