Paradise Fields

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Paradise Fields By Katie FfordeI have read a few books by Katie Fforde and have always found them light and enjoyable reads. ‘Paradise Fields‘ was no exception and was just the right book to wind down with over Christmas!

The story centres on Nel, a fairly young widow with three teenage children. She has a busy life involved with many things in her village, not least her attempts to set up a local farmers market and her fundraising for the local children’s hospice. She even has a little love interest in the form of Simon, a local estate agent (say no more!) who in the eyes of her children is predictable, dull and bossy, even if he is useful around the house.

So all is well in the village until certain events occur that could threaten Nel’s blissful existence. The hospice is threatened when a local landowner decides to build on land that the hospice has always used for events and access – and – at the same time, Nel meets Jake, a very attractive if slightly younger solicitor, who has to compare quite favourably to Simon.

However, and in order to make more of a story of it, things are never as uncomplicated as they should be. Jake only happens to be the solicitor who is acting for the landowner, and therefore Nel finds herself at war against him. As the story unfolds, the reader is drawn into Nel’s valiant attempts to save the hospice, and her ever confusing relationship with Jake. And what of Simon watching from the sides – is he the good guy to be pitied, or maybe not quite what it seems? All is revealed as the book moves steadily towards its conclusion of which I will say no more!

I really enjoyed the book, mainly because I really warmed to Nel, a character I could identify with in many ways. Katie Fforde is very good at revealing her characters’ thoughts, and at times you almost live through Nel’s agonies with her. There are lots of other interesting characters in the book too – Nel’s attractive teenage daughter Fleur who is both her chief adviser and style guru, Nel’s pragmatic friend Viv, and typical ‘baddie’ Chris Mowbray who endeavours to thwart Nel’s every move! All of these characters are able to see what Nel refuses to believe – that she is an extremely attractive woman and that Jake is besotted with her. Nel seems to think that women like her have to settle for the Simons of this world – something that is definitely not true! (Although, being married to a Simon myself, it’s not as bad as I make out!!)

Overall, this is a nice gentle read. Things do progress steadily and I certainly found myself drawn into the story, but if you like all action and adventure this book is not for you!

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Paradise Fields
by Katie Fforde

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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