A Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Addition: Kindle e-book
Rating: 4 out 5
Sophie Apperly’s family has never taken her seriously. Fiercely academic, they see her more practical skills as frivolous whilst constantly taking advantage of her. So when her best friend Milly invites her over to New York, she jumps at the chance. It’ll do her ungrateful family good to do without her for a while. What s more, she’s on a quest America holds the key to solving her family’s financial woes, even if they don’t deserve her help.
From the moment Sophie hits the bright lights of Manhattan she’s determined to enjoy every minute of her big adventure. So when an evening at an art gallery throws her into the path of Matilda, a spirited old lady who invites her to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, Sophie willingly accepts, much to the dismay of Matilda’s grandson Luke. Undeniably attractive but infuriatingly arrogant, he is very protective of his grandmother and seems to doubt Sophie’s motives for befriending her. No match for the formidable Matilda, he eventually admits defeat, but first he has a proposal to make. He’ll help Sophie in her quest to save her family from financial ruin if she repays the favour. But just what does she have to do in return…?
I really enjoy Katie FForde books, and this one did not let me down. The story follows Sophie, a young woman who is bossed around and taken advantage of by her family. Although clever, she is the only member of her family that has not gone into further education so her family think less of her. She is expected to cook, clean and run around after them. Her family are gold-diggers, desperate to get their hands on more money. They have a rich uncle – an older man called Eric, affectionately known as “Evil Uncle Eric” to the family. They ship Sophie off to look after him in the hope to make it into his will, but when she gets there she discovers he isn’t evil at all. Before she goes makes the decision to go to New York afterwards, and while she is at Eric’s she discovers that the family might be intitled to money from drilling-rights, but that will mean she has to do some investigating in New York. When she gets to New York, she meets Matilda, an elderly lady originally from Cornwall. She befriends Matilda, who invites her to spend Thanksgiving with her and her family. The problem is her suspicious grandson Luke, who doesn’t trust Sophie as far as he can throw her. Yet Matilda has a little mission for Sophie when she gets back to England – to find a house she used to love as a child. Luke has to come across the Atlantic for some work so he helps Sophie look. sparks start to fly until Amy, Luke’s assistant turns up and whips him away with lies about Sophie’s love life. Sophie finds the house and spends several weeks emailing Matilda and trying to forget Luke, until she is summoned to Cornwall – along with him – to look at the house again. Matilda makes a surprise visit to Cornwall to ensure that her crafty plan of getting them together works!
This is a lovely book – well written and gripping. I couldn’t put this book down, and read most of it in a day! Katie Fforde is a brilliant author – she writes characters that you enjoy reading about, or get very angry at and she writes plots that keep you gripped. This is a typical chick-lit novel – the main characters start to fall for each other, something drives them apart, and then they make up and end up together. I didn’t mind that at all – once you have read enough chick-lit books I find it stops being about the fact they will end up together, it is more about how they get to that point. I like the lead up to the conclusion and this one was full of adventure and fun characters! Sometimes chick-lit can be bland, but this one had adventure – like flash floods and getting stranded in storms – events which increased the pace of the read to keep the reader on their toes and hooked to the story.
What I especially liked about this book is that I found myself getting emotionally involved. I liked Sophie – I felt for her as she pandered to her family’s demands and felt such sympathy when they were rude and condescending towards to her. I loved Uncle Eric! What a brilliant character! He was old and not politically correct – saying some outrageous things! He also had a soft side and loved Sophie, which was lovely to read. I loved Matilda as well – a strong-willed older lady, but so affectionate. I particularly loved that she was an old lady who used email! Luke had to grow on me, but by the end I liked him too. What I particularly liked about this book is that I found myself disliking some of the characters too! I really didn’t like Amy – I so wanted to shout at her!! I enjoy a book where I find myself involved and not always liking the characters – it feels more realistic.
I really enjoyed this book. I was gripped from the beginning and read this almost in one sitting. I was satisfied with the ending and liked the twists and turns that led up to it. I was surprised that the majority of the story was based in England, I was expecting it to mostly be in New York – but I didn’t mind that. This is a well written chick-lit novel – a really good read.