Laurie Graham's much-anticipated novel The Future Homemakers of America
introduces us to five American Air force wives stationed at a US airbase in the Norfolk Fens in 1953, the year of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Initially, the women have little in common, except their nationality and husbands who fly with the 68th bomber wing, but they eventually start to socialise.
It soon becomes clear, however, that all is not as it seems. Glamorous redhead Lois is bored with her lot and longs to explore life beyond the confines of the base; when she does, though, the consequences are not quite what she expected. Betty, a true organiser and the most obvious homemaker of the group, makes excellent chocolate brownies and is a wonderful mother but one wonders whether her marriage is all it seems. Her friends aren't quite sure but support her all the same. And there are other hidden dynamics too: the women dare not speak of their fears for their husbands who are warding off potential threats from the Soviets.
As the women expand their horizons, they also get to know some wary locals who live in shocking material circumstances in a grieving England barely recovered from World War II. The glamorous "yanks" befriend the down-to-earth but reticent Kath and mysterious John Pharaoh and subsequently become ministering angels as they dispense freebies and treats to their new friends. But their actions turn out to be much more than "do-gooding". The women themselves are changed by the people and events they encounter in the Norfolk countryside.
Throughout The Future Homemakers of America Graham leads us effortlessly and convincingly on as we follow the lives of the characters across time and geography. All the while, she gives us humorous and often tender insights about women living, loving and adapting--and the forging of bonds that can last a lifetime. --Christina Mcloughlin
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'She has wit and insight to match Nick Hornby, and the entertainment value of Helen Fielding, as well as depth. Her novel traces the lives of Peggy and five female friends – one British – from the 1950s to the present, against a background of landmark events. It amounts to a picture of the way women's lives have changed, without ever sacrificing the particular to the generalisation.' Nicolette Jones, Independent
‘Superlative. The writing sparkles from first to last’ David Robson, Sunday Telegraph
‘This novel crackles with energy and snappy American dialogue. Laurie Graham conjures up five tough, funny, mouthy women, thrown together at an American airbase in Norfolk. Kath, a typical Brit with a chilly exterior and warm heart, is drawn into their generous circle. Graham has pulled off an absolute triumph; the voice of her sassy narrator, the redoubtable Peggy, never falters as she unfolds 40 years of friendship.’ Georgia Metcalfe, Daily Mail
‘Laugh-out-loud funny; intelligent; moving; has more delicious roll-off-the-tongue one-liners than Seinfeld. One of those books you buy six copies of to send to all your old friends.’ Julie Morrice, Scotsman