This book was recommended to me recently as a nice, light-hearted, novel to read before bed. I’d never read any Katie FForde before, but I hadn’t heard anything bad so I thought I’d give it a go. The concept is quite interesting; Anna is a newly qualified interior designer who has bought a ramshackle cottage so she can renovate it for a profit. There is also a suitable obstacle between Anna and Rob, the love interest, in that he’s a buildings inspector who is constantly stalling her renovation work because of his rules and regulations. The build up of their relationship is pleasant and I was pleased with the way they interact with each other.
The thing is, this book was just slow. It seemed like too much time was devoted to really ordinary events; like characters drinking tea or Anna reminding the reader she has no shower or bath, and not enough to creating plot twists. Perhaps it’s just me, but I found myself losing focus in the middle little bit. Unfortunately this just made me concentrate on the irksome bits more. For example, the way Fforde constantly describes Anna as scruffy. I got that she was supposed to be a bit careless of her appearance, because she was in the middle of decorating a house, but didn’t like how much emphasis was placed on this. It was as if the only way to prove she was good at her job was to make her totally unfeminine- almost manly. Maybe that’s a little picky and maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I found myself really noticing it every time it came up. In reality this is such a small flaw that I wouldn’t usually have mentioned it, but it helps make my point, there just wasn’t enough substance to Practically Perfect.
In the end, I suppose this novel was everything that I was told it would be, a nice, light-hearted, bedtime read and I definitely didn’t hate it…I just didn’t love it. Since I finished, I’ve been told that it’s not Katie Fforde’s best work, so I’ll probably give her the benefit of the doubt on this one. If you have read it, what did you think? Did I miss something? Have you read any Katie Fforde, if so what books would you recommend?