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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Yet from Katie Fforde
Prepare yourself for a treat - Paradise Fields is one of the best novels from Katie Fforde yet. I'm a serious Fforde fan, but this one is truly wonderful. Fforde always delivers strong tales about exceptional - yet every day - women, and Paradise Fields hits that mark. Nel Innes is a widow, with mostly wonderful friends and three almost-grown children who boss her around...
Published on 24 Mar 2003

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Middle-Class Middle-Age Romance
I must admit that I found the storyline of "Paradise Fields" rather predictable. However, it is an easy, romantic read and I did enjoy it. Give it a go if you don't want anything heavy going or intellectual.
Published on 21 Mar 2004 by H Clarke


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Yet from Katie Fforde, 24 Mar 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: Paradise Fields (Hardcover)
Prepare yourself for a treat - Paradise Fields is one of the best novels from Katie Fforde yet. I'm a serious Fforde fan, but this one is truly wonderful. Fforde always delivers strong tales about exceptional - yet every day - women, and Paradise Fields hits that mark. Nel Innes is a widow, with mostly wonderful friends and three almost-grown children who boss her around more than a bit. What makes this one a keeper, though, is Jake Demerand, referred to in the blurb as the mysterious stranger that kisses her under the mistletoe. Well, the mistletoe incident occurs on the first page so there's obviously a lot more after that! Jake is the best male character she's written since David from Living Dangerously. You find out a bit more about him than we have about other men in recent Fforde novels and you get a wonderful sense of his character and personality through the (as always) witty, natural, and coherent dialog. He's everything you want this type of character to be - sexy, funny, a bit of a mystery. Fforde also revisits a theme she's explored before - the reluctance a mother has about bringing a man into the lives of her children. That doesn't mean the plot is a rehash, but it's obviously a theme that means a lot to Katie. (Personally, I'd tell the kids to get their own life and get on with it with Jake!) The main plot line about the market, the hospice, and the loss of some beautiful fields to a housing development gets a bit convoluted in places, but that ultimately works well too. Don't let the editorial review comments like, "Old-fashioned romance of the best sort…funny, comforting", throw you off. While this isn't exactly Sex in the City (although there are references to the program!), it's a wonderfully written tale that's anything but stodgy and staid. I can't recommend Paradise Fields enough - it was worth the overseas shipment of the hardcover edition (and that's really a compliment!)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy going and fun to read!, 11 July 2004
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Paperback)
I thought this book was good for what it was, despite the fact the reader knows what happening next!
Nel is a fat and forty year old widow, who lives a quite life with her dogs, and the last of her three children, Fleur. She lives in a small village, with an authoritarian boyfriend Simon, who disagrees and critisises the things she does.
And then, suddenly, something unexpected happens. While running the Christmas market, Nel hears that the village hospice is going to be torn down by some builders who plan to build a large amount of cheap houses.
Nel has on her hands an uphill struggle. There's Chris, the snidey chairman to contend with, and a dodgy builder. Whatsmore, on the opposition is Jake, the man who mysteriously kissed her under the mistletoe at Christmas. Does her really like her, or is he the crook lawyer that everyone says he is? Nel spends most of the book in turmoil, unsure whether to give into her emotions, or remain brisk and business-like to secure the welfare of the hospice.
At the start of the book, I felt it was a bit slow, but by the first 50 pages, it had me silently hooked! Just one warning though, if you don't like campaigns for stately homes, or heroines taking an eternity to decide which man she wants, this isn't the book for you!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thats more like it!, 10 July 2003
By 
M. E. Atkinson "maz" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Hardcover)
A much better book more like the old Katie Fforde, my favourite is the very first one as it made me laugh out loud. this book has some good characters in it, I know we all guess who the "Mr Darcy" is early on, but like in Jane Austen that is part of the charm, I sat up till 2.30am to finish this. Its just a really enjoyable and readable book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Summer Holiday Read, 19 Jun 2006
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Paperback)
This was the first Katie Fforde book I had read and was a little worried. I am always a bit nervous about trying new authors just in case I am disappointed. I have to say that this book was just what the doctor ordered on a recent beach holiday. I absolutely loved it. Okay so the story was predictable, you could guess how it would end from the first few pages. However it was a fun read getting there. Anyway who says that we have to analyse stories to death and be surprised by twists and turns. I personally just like to be entertained by a good story that will put a smile on my face. As someone fast approaching my forties and a little bit on the larger than average size this story give hope to us all that someone somewhere may still find us attractive. It is the perfect summer read that will lift the spirits. I now have a new author to add to my list of must reads.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Middle-Class Middle-Age Romance, 21 Mar 2004
By 
H Clarke "Plocket" (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Paradise Fields (Paperback)
I must admit that I found the storyline of "Paradise Fields" rather predictable. However, it is an easy, romantic read and I did enjoy it. Give it a go if you don't want anything heavy going or intellectual.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, but still good, 14 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Hardcover)
I am a devoted Katie Fforde fan, and so I was looking forward to her new book. While it has all the elements that have combined to make me a fan, it is not quite as good as Ms Fforde's best.
The elements that I particularly enjoy in Ms Fforde's books start with her heroines. The heroine in Paradise Fields is over forty, overweight, and a widow. She has three children and three dogs and a house covered in dog hair. All of these parts of her life are competently portrayed, although she has "done them" better in her other books. (The book that culminated in the Chelsea flower show had better children and a more present and charming dog.)
Ms Fforde is also gifted at creating charming chat, particularly between her heroines and their friends. While there is an engaging friendship in Paradise Fields, it is not quite as charming or amusing as those Ms Fforde has been able to create in her other novels. Ms Fforde can make me laugh out loud, but did not do so in this book. She also has the power of creating vivid images, but this was muted in Paradise Fields. An example of such an image from an earlier book: a spaniel who carries around a vegetarian dog biscuit rather than let the cat have it.
The story line in Paradise Fields was a bit thin, involving saving a hospice from an essentially evil plot. Granted, Ms Fforde's plots are not why I read her books--I read them for their overall charm--but this plot was thinner than usual. I have to say that the book became a bit dull, and could have been 50 pages shorter without sacrificing any important elements.
Having said all this, I very much look forward to Ms Fforde's next book. Paradise Fields is fun and can be riveting. Katie Fforde writes escapist literature at its best, so a book that is not her best is still better than anyone else's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Men, Mud and Mistletoe., 28 Mar 2012
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Paperback)
Nel has a full life. Not only is she a mother to three children, growing up and away from her, she is struggling with her weight as all women at time do, she is passionate about the farmers markets which she has been paramount in getting off the ground in her small village, fundraising is another passion for the local children's hospice. Plus walking her dogs and making fabulous shaped and themed cakes. Is there time for anything else? Is there time for romance?

Nel is not so sure, since being widowed ten years previously , she has become a strong indpendent women and Katie Fforde could be allowed to make her into a stereotype here when romance enters her life, but she does not. She has a boyfriend, Simon who from the moment he featured on the page irritated me beyond belief. But to Nel he is safe. Does she need safe when she has been able to manage that one on her own for the last ten years?
Whilst selling some mistletoe, a mystery man, tall, good-looking, handsome buys a large bunch and delivers a kiss as well as payment. Nel whilst being swept off her feet, suddenly has an insight into another life. Jake has arrived.

But in true romantic form, the path it doth never run smooth. Nel finds her self negotiating many other paths as the fields where she intends to set up a more permanent farmers market is going to be sold to make way for housing. Under the impression that the field belonged to the hospice, Nel starts a battle, a fight she is determined to win. Then it turns out it is not just the field that is at risk but the hospice as well.

And so you are drawn into how Nel with the help of her more vivacious friend, Viv, her spirited pretty daughter Fleur as well as many of the locals try and salvage something which will fit into their village without anyone losing out.

But all the time, Jake, keeps popping up when she least expects it and at times when she does not want it. He gets under her skin (and mine!) but he is not safe and that might not be a good thing for Nel. All her friends and family have an opposing opinion.

An absorbing read which had me hooked immediately, I loved Nel and cared about her, Simon irritated me as I mention and I was enthralled with Jake as Nel was. All girls want that mystery man to just take over and sweep what we know is safe right from under us. Though preferably when we have the right clothes and make up on! This book had everything that I love about reads to escape in, a bit of romance, a village setting, a good cause, feisty and irritating characters, and a good old-fashioned happy ending. If you want all those things then this is the book for you. It was the book for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 7 April 2010
By 
Potterywhizz (Dorset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Paperback)
I didn't think I would read another Katie Forde after being disappointed with another book she had written but I'm glad I made the effort with this one. It's got interesting characters, a sympathetic heroine and a charming hero.I was entertained. This was a comfortable feel good romantic read from start to finish
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4.0 out of 5 stars spot on, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Paradise Fields (Kindle Edition)
spot on
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun book, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Paradise Fields (Paperback)
Good fun
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Paradise Fields
Paradise Fields by Katie Fforde (Paperback - 1 April 2004)
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