Going Dutch by Katie Fforde

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Going Dutch by Katie Fforde

Buy Going Dutch by Katie Fforde at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A heart-warming story about two women, a generation apart who live on a barge after some rather traumatic events in their lives. As if that isn't enough - the barge has to go to Holland. Recommended as a good holiday read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: June 2007
Publisher: Century
ISBN: 978-1846050893

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Jo's husband traded her in for a much younger model and was rather surprised when Jo wasn't understanding when he explained that the new woman looked just like Jo did when she was younger.

Dora decided at the last minute that she couldn't face the huge wedding, her fiancé, her mother and the critical looks of the whole village, so she took refuge with Jo who was living on a converted barge. As Dora finds work and Jo works out how she's going to make a living they make the best of their lives, both confident that they've sworn off men for good.

But life - and particularly life on a barge - is not quite that simple.

Oh, but this is a lovely, heart-warming story. Two women, separated by a generation set up home together without any of the usual clichés of fighting over who is going to do the cooking or squabbling about dripping underwear in the bathroom. They're simply looking at helping each other to recover from some rather traumatic events and establishing themselves within the barge community where they're docked. They're not gorgeous young things, but a homely, middle-aged woman and her daughter's best friend.

I'm making this sound rather tame, you know and it's not. Dora meets up with Tom. They're not an item, they're just good friends who have a lot of fun together. Tom is determined to bring Dora out of herself and he sets her a series of five dares which she has to complete, but the most daring thing she does isn't precipitated by Tom but by the barge on which she's living. The Three Sisters is going to have to sail to a boatyard to have some work done. If that's not scary enough for two women who know very little about sailing, the boatyard is in Holland. Yes, the one across the North Sea.

They don't have to take it on their own though. The barge will be in the hands of an experienced skipper and his mate. The skipper is Marcus and he's someone that Jo knew when she was engaged to her ex-husband. She's always thought he was attractive, but puts that to the back of her mind. After all she's sworn off men for life and Marcus is living with Carole, who looks like a supermodel and has a stomach so flat you could iron sheets on it.

The characters are all lovely, well-rounded people. No one is either all good or all bad, and it was even possible to feel just a smidgen of sympathy for Phillip, Jo's ex-husband. My favourite 'character' though was the barge The Three Sisters. Kate Fforde knows her barges and the love of them shines through in the story.

This book is way better than chick-lit. Katie Fforde wisely stays away from explicit sexual content and produces a book which is actually more sensual because of that. If you're looking for a good holiday read with helpings of romance, adventure and humour then this could be just what you're looking for.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.

If this type of book appeals to you then you might also enjoy Made in Heaven by Adèle Geras, which also looks at relationships through they eyes of different generations.

Buy Going Dutch by Katie Fforde at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Going Dutch by Katie Fforde at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Going Dutch by Katie Fforde at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Going Dutch by Katie Fforde at Amazon.com.


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