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LOVE LETTERS by Katie Fforde

LOVE LETTERS

By Katie Fforde

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-67453-3
Publisher: St. Martin's

A timid, unemployed British bookseller has her horizons expanded by an encounter with an irascible Irish author.

Laura, a 27-year-old virgin whose independent bookstore is the latest casualty of the chains, is jolted from her quarter-life doldrums by London agent Eleanora, who taps Laura to organize a literary festival for Eleanora’s niece, Fenella. “Fen” needs a revenue stream to keep her stately home in the English countryside, and an annual lit fest featuring prominent authors seems just the ticket, provided she can procure a buzz-magnet like reclusive Irish scribe Dermot Flynn to headline. Dermot produced two iconic books in his youth, but nothing else in 15 years. Laura is charged with convincing Dermot to leave the shelter of his tiny Irish village, Ballyfitzpatrick. After one too many whiskeys in Dermot’s favorite pub, she succumbs to his blarney. Dermot, to his credit, refrains from deflowering the semi-comatose Laura, but he does agree to appear at the festival. However, when the envious snipings of a blogger tip Dermot back over the edge, Laura is once more dispatched to Ireland to do triage. She finds Dermot passed out cold amid weeks of dirty laundry and unwashed dishes, and despite all her feminist better instincts, which we’ve yet to see any real sign of anyhow, she cleans up after him and feeds him. After an overheated session of sober but ecstatic lovemaking, Laura’s a virgin no more, but her brief idyll is shattered when, out grocery shopping for ravenous Dermot, she’s confronted by a girlfriend she didn’t know he had. There follow several more pages of cat and mouse between Laura and Dermot as he tries to explain and she artfully dodges. The approach and avoidance game—Will Dermot show up at the festival? Will Laura return his texts and voicemails? Is Dermot simply in need of a muse like Laura to cure his writer’s block?—soon palls.

Despite occasional flashes of wit, a standard romance tale with a predictable outcome.