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Love Letters by Katie Fforde
Love Letters by Katie Fforde is exactly the kind of love story that you hope happens to you. It was the beautiful cover design that first caught my attention, the rather whimsical looking girl relaxing in deck chair.
Laura Horsley has been leading a shelter quiet existence working in a bookshop that she adores and reading as many novels as possible. Then life as it inevitably does throws here a curve ball and she loses her job at the local bookshop as it prepares to close its doors. Her life is then sent in directions that she could never imagined and she ends up helping to organise, run and select novelists for a literary festival. The success of this literary festival depends on keeping the sponsors happy and getting some big names to appear and Laura is tasked with doing just that. With one short hop to Ireland we meet the gorgeous hunk of an author Dermot Flynn, who is suffering from problems of his own and that's where the story really takes off. The book is all about the ups and downs and inevitable complications that get in the way of love. Laura doesn't have a smooth path ahead of her but then that is what makes hers an interesting story to share. Love isn't ever meant to be easy, especially in romantic fiction!
--My opinion on it all--
Overall, love Letters by Katie Fforde makes for a great book with a predictable but sweet and lovely plot. One thing that did confuse me ever so slightly was the title - Love letters. There was no love letters in the story, I am a tad paranoid that I have just forgotten about their presence or blocked them out. Does anyone remember there being love letters, am I correct in thinking the title and novel have little in the way of a connection?
The only other complaint I would have about the book was that it took a little while for me to warm up the main character - Laura Horsley, she seemed to be a bit too quiet and meek in the beginning. A bit too bookish that it was hard to believe she went on the adventure that she did. By the middle and end of the book I liked her just fine, in fact, I was rooting for her to get the fairytale ending she so deserved. I would have just liked to have been fond of her at the beginning as well.
I would happily give this book a fair but average three dooyoo stars out of five. Although I have only given it three stars I still enjoyed the book and I have since purchased another book by Katie Fforde as Love letters makes for a fantastic summers afternoon reading material.
I am a big fan of Katie Fforde and her books - in particular I like the fact that the characters are believable and you really do want her main character to get together with the man she loves!
Love Letters is an enjoyable read from start to finish and Katie has obviously put in a lot of her own personal experiences of literary festivals and bookshop signings.
Laura is our heroine and she is losing her job in an independant bookstore as the owning is closing the shop. A shy and retiring and self-confessed "bore", Laura, with the aid of her friends, attempts to bring herself out of her shell.
She impresses a publisher that she met at a booksigning she had arranged, and the publisher suggests she meets her niece, Fenella, who is in the process of arranging a literary festival. Depsite being hesitant, Laura attends the first meeting and finds herself firm friends with Fenella, her husband and Monica, who starts in a girl swing band.
Due to an insistant sponser, Laura finds herself on a ferry to Ireland with Monica to track down the elusive Dermott Flynn, an author who has become a recluse after his first two books became best sellers. Dermott famously never attends book festivals, so Laura's task is hard to say the least.
I won't ruin the rest of the story but be assured it is enjoyable, entertaining, funny, and most importantly, you will like the ending!
Love Letters is one of those enjoyable and satisfying reads that is so perfect for those hot lazy summer days. It's gentle pace and intriguing characters draw you in as you want to find out what happens next. What's more, the storyline is based around a literary festival which makes fascinating reading for any book lover like me.
The main character is Laura who, having just lost her job at a bookshop which is closing down, finds herself being persuaded to organise the festival. As she is a bit of a shy and retiring type, this career move does not exactly fall within her comfort zone. However, she is soon absorbed in her new role and loving every minute, especially as she is making some very good friends. The festival needs a 'big name' draw though, so Laura finds herself travelling to Ireland to try and persuade the reclusive and enigmatic Dermott Flynn to appear. He also happens to be extremely sexy and also Laura's hero after having studied his work at university. As the story progresses it charts the somewhat turbulent relationship between the pair, both professional and personal.
These two main characters are very different from each other. Laura is quite timid and shy, almost to the point that she can be quite annoying. However, she does have guts and determination too which is why she is able to make the festival a success. Dermott is creative and unpredictable and no one knows until the last minute whether he will turn up at the festival. On the surface then, it seems very unlikely that this pair would have anything in common at all, but somehow their relationship is believable and I really enjoyed seeing how it developed throughout the book.
There are many other minor characters in the book too and these are a diverse mix to say the least. From Laura's dowdy parents at one extreme to some very colourful authors at the other; all are interesting and integral to the story.
I found the pace of this book just right. It was nicely relaxed with just enough going on to keep my interest and make me want to read more. I am very glad I did because once again Katie Fforde has written a very enjoyable book. There is a good combination of humour and poignancy and two main characters you cannot fail to like.
The fact that much of the novel centred on the literary festival and a writer's course was a bonus for me too and provided a fascinating insight into the way that some authors might work. I was, however, a little puzzled by the choice of title though as it does imply that there might at least be an exchange of letters between the two main characters. There weren't actually any unless you count a couple of terse hasty e-mails although there was definitely at least a hint of love!
I really enjoyed this book and thoroughly recommend it to fans of Katoe Fforde. The hardcover is currently available on Amazon for £7.49.
This review has previously appeared under my name ay www.thrbookbag.co.uk
Laura Horsley is devastated when the bookshop where she works is about to close. With no immediate plan for future work, she ends up agreeing to organise a literary festival deep in the English countryside.
Laura has no idea how to organise a literary festival and soon starts to panic. Not only that but Laura inadvertantly makes people believe she knows Dermot Flynn, a reclusive writer struggling with writer's block.
Laura sets off to Ireland with her friend Monica to track down the elusive Dermot Flynn...
Katie Fforde's books always follow the same winning formula: heroine of the story needs to save/organise something huge, meets man and all is going well until it all goes wrong and it all seems over before the pair before, eventually, it all gets sorted out.
It may sound predictable and to a degree, it probably is predictable but it works so well. I love nothing more than picking up Katie Fforde's latest book and know that it's going to all pan out eventually.
Love Letters is another Katie Fforde hit and was very enjoyable. I loved that it was set in the world of books, being a huge fan of them myself. Reading about Laura setting up a book festival was very interesting and really well written. The main plot of the book, though, is Laura going off to find Dermot Flynn and all the ensuing madness. The book doesn't seem at all rushed, the ending is well done, and I didn't find myself wishing it would just end already.
I thought Laura was a brilliant character, deciding to change the way her life is going by agreeing to organise the literary festival. I really hoped she would come through and deliver not only a fab festival but also the star attraction in Dermot.
Dermot is the ultimate in brooding writer and I found him very amusing. I found the interaction between himself and Laura worked really well and didn't seem at all fake. I also liked Laura's friend Monica, who is in a band and is organising the music festival that was accompanying the literary festival. She was also very amusing and her presence in the book made it all the better.
Another character who I felt had huge influence in the book was Eleanora, Dermot's agent and the person who gets Laura involved in the literary festival to begin with. I thought she was very witty and also very perceptive. She also makes me wonder if all agents are like that!
The book is full with characters but not so many you forget who they are. Also in the book is Grant, Laura's gay best friend; Fenella and Rupert, who own the house where the music & literary festival's take place and who are also friends to Laura; Henry, the owner of the bookshop where Laura works at the beginning of the book. There are also minor minor characters within the book who pop up now and again.
It was an incredibly enjoyable novel and, as always with Katie's books, is incredibly well written. Katie definitely has the winning formula when it comes to her novels. One final note: I'd love to know where the title come from - Love Letters - I thought the book may have had some love letters within it but there weren't any which makes the title seem rather weird.