Today’s book review of a contemporary women’s novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Flora’s Lot by Katie Fforde
Synopsis: Flora Stanza has sub-let her London life in a bid to join the family antiques business. Her knowledge extends only to the information she has crammed from daytime TV, but what she lacks in experience she makes up for in blind enthusiasm. So she is more than a little put out when she doesn’t receive the warm country welcome she expected. Her curt cousin Charles and his fiancée Annabelle are determined to send Flora packing, and their offer to buy her out is tempting … until a strange warning makes her think twice.
This novel is available via http://www.amazon.com/Floras-Lot-Katie-Fforde-ebook/dp/B004E10RVS and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Floras-Lot-Katie-Fforde-ebook/dp/B004E10RVS.
Review (of the audiobook)
The novel starts with teapot-collector Flora arriving, accompanied by heavily-pregnant cat, at Flora’s family’s firm (great uncle’s) Stanza & Stanza and meets her colleagues, Jeffrey, distant cousin Charles and his haughty fiancée Annabel, the latter two wanting to buy part of her controlling share then send her on her way.
Flora’s adamant to stay on and gets involved in a local choir while meeting local men William and Henry.
Persuading Charles and Annabel to run an antiques roadshow, the business gradually improves as does Flora’s relationship with Charles and even Annabel softens… until Flora gets involved in a more than one love triangle.
There are some great phrases including ‘her robe was so tightly belted that it would have taken Houdini to get out of it’.
I read the paperback version of Love Letters a couple of years ago and while I struggled with the main character, Laura, (who had no backbone, got one but then lost it again – I’d even forgotten her name when typing this review so had to Google it) while loving her friend Monica who was much more feisty and likeable. In this book however, I liked Flora immediately.
There are lots of adverbs which an editor should have chopped but they stand out more in an audiobook because of the way the dialogue is spoken (by Emilia Fox), and then confirmed by the description, eg she said angrily / grumpily. The novel is a little gushy in places but again this is highlighted by the narration and can be more expected from women’s fiction. All the way through, I wanted to know what happened so it would have been a page turner had I been reading the paperback – the mark of an entertaining book.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page). She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.