One Enchanted Evening by Katie Fforde: A funny feelgood story – book review –
Draw the curtains, throw another log on the fire, and escape into the sunshine of deepest Dorset!
The current cold-snap is the perfect time to cosy up with one of Katie Fforde’s warm and welcoming novels – gorgeous books that serve up love, fun and home-spun wisdom in the most delightful ways.
And One Enchanted Evening is a truly tasty dish... Fforde’s amazing thirtieth novel and the last in a trilogy of standalone stories set during the 1960s, with each focusing on a different girl from a group of three friends who met at a cookery course in London.
And after enjoying romance and happy endings with Lizzie and Alexandra in A Wedding in the Country and A Wedding in Provence, we’re now invited to feast on the life and loves of Meg who meets her match in a bullying chef when she is called in to help mastermind a banqueting event at her mother’s hotel.
Peopled with Fforde’s trademark cast of lovable and eclectic characters, her special brand of sparkling storytelling, and with surprises at every turn of the hotel’s stairs, this is entertaining romance with an added helping of spice.
Ever since she can remember, Meg Sanderson has wanted to be a professional cook but it’s 1964 and, in restaurant kitchens all over England, it is still very much a man’s world. So Meg is thrilled to get the chance to go and learn from a French chef in Provence but in the meantime, she gets a call from her mother Louise who is running – and fallen very much in love with Nightingale Woods – an old Georgian house-turned-hotel in rural Dorset. There’s an important banqueting event coming up and she needs help... in fact she needs it now!
When Meg arrives at the hotel, she finds that it is stuck in the past but she loves a challenge and sets to work. Then Justin, the son of the hotel owner and himself a chef, appears and he’s determined to take over the running of the kitchen. Infuriated at his attitude towards her, Meg is determined to keep cooking and prove herself a skilled chef... but soon sparks begin to fly. Will their differences be a recipe for disaster?
Fforde lives up to her well-earned reputation as the ‘godmother of romantic fiction’ as she serves up a funny, feelgood story in which the slow-cook romance between Meg and Justin proves to be a far from smooth true love course.
So book in at Nightingale Woods… and get ready for a summer of loving!
(Century, hardback, £16.99)