When all you want is a light, fluffy, and uplifting read, be sure to reach for Katie Fforde’s A Vintage Wedding. Her 24th novel, Fforde is a master writer of small-town romance, and her latest book will have you seeking out a quaint little English village to visit.
After her divorce, the slightly neurotic and not-so-slightly OCD Rachel escapes the city life for a small village in the Cotswolds. Also new to the community is Beth, who is hiding out there to avoid her family while she plans her sister’s wedding. Lindy is a local, and a single-mum trying to make ends meet as she raises two young boys. These three very different women are all looking for a fresh start, and soon develop an unlikely friendship, one that, in turn, gives birth to a wonderful new business: Vintage Weddings. Offering weddings on a budget, the business combines their talents, and is a wonderful chance for the women to do something out of the ordinary. But, while they’re focusing on other people’s romances, will they notice that that their own love stories are waiting to happen?
Fforde is classic chick-lit: she is warm, she’s funny, her characters are endearing, and you’re guaranteed a happily-ever-after ending. You can take comfort in a familiar rhythm and enjoy the ease of the expected. In this story I enjoyed that the main characters were such a contrast to each other, and it reminded me that it is often our differences that make our relationships better.
My favourite part about this author, however, is the charming little villages she sets her stories in. I’m a sucker for the quaint everyone-knows-everyone kind of town where everyone meets at 4pm down at the local pub and the local doctor also runs the post office. Okay, perhaps I’m taking it too far, but you get the gist. And Fforde makes me want to pack up and move there – wherever “there” may be – every time. With its village hall, local pub, and surrounding farming community, A Vintage Wedding is no exception.
Not one for big weddings (or spending copious amounts on them) I enjoyed the idea behind the business, Vintage Weddings. While I’m not sure that I would feel comfortable doing someone’s wedding make-up by following a YouTube video, it was fun to see just how resourceful women can be – a resourcefulness that we need a little more of.
Now, while I do love a happy ending, for me, this one was just a little too much so. Yes, there are three women in this story, all deserving of a chance at love, but to have them all be swept off their feet by the end of the book, it felt a little too unrealistic, and, given that they were all so different, I would have liked to see the women find happiness in a variety of ways. I suppose it could happen, but I think I felt it was a touch too “Disney”. And, if I were going to pick just one man for the happy ending, without a doubt it would have to be Raff!
All in all, A Vintage Wedding is a delightful bit of escapism to an appealing locale with likeable friends and attractive men. An ideal Autumn read.