Laurie Graham is a former Daily Telegraph columnist and Contributing Editor to Cosmopolitan. The Future Homemakers of America is her sixth novel. She lives in Italy and is currently writing a screenplay of her novel, The Dress Circle.
In 1952, five women bond when their husbands are stationed on the same U.S. Air Force base in England. Peggy Dewey, a no-nonsense Texan, narrates the saga of their friendship, which expands to include Kath Pharaoh, an Englishwoman they meet at King George's funeral procession. The six women go through 47 years of births, divorces, illnesses, deaths, and amazing career changes. The fast-forward ending, more of an epilog, is a bit of a disappointment, not because it's poorly written but because you're reluctant to say good-bye to Peg and her friends so abruptly. Fans of such novels as Rebecca Wells's Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Maeve Binchy's Circle of Friends, Terry McMillan's Waiting To Exhale, and other female friendship titles will relish the humor and pathos, as well as the well-defined characters, who maintain their connection to one another for almost half a century. Graham, the author of 15 books, both fiction (The Man for the Job) and nonfiction (The Parent's Survival Guide), has also written radio plays for the BBC. A welcome addition to most popular fiction collections.-Shelley Mosley, Glendale P.L., AZ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
'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
This sixth novel by Graham (Dog Days, Glenn Miller Nights; etc.) gets off to a slow start, but once it picks up its pace, it delivers a true, funny and wry portrait of six women friends from WWII to the 1990s, as well as of America's changing social mores and attitudes. Peggy Dewey, wife of Air Force pilot Vern, meets Audrey, Gayle, Lois, Betty and Kath, all Air Force wives, while Vern is on assignment in England during WWII. Though these women would most likely never have been friends under other circumstances, friends they become, and over the years Peggy is their linchpin, keeping in contact with everyone through good times and bad. The lives of the women take turns they never would have imagined as traditional military wives. Audrey's upwardly mobile officer husband dies; Gayle, the nervous young bride with the alcohol problem, becomes a famous faith healer; Betty, the "pie crust queen," has problems with her children; Lois bears a child outside of her marriage, passing it off as her husband's, though the girls suspect the truth; Kath, their English friend, and Peggy, start their own businesses. Through it all, they stay in touch, supporting, counseling and wisecracking all the way. By the end, readers will feel so close to the girls they'll be shedding tears of sheer recognition. Graham has truly captured women's friendships through thick and thin, and Peggy is a gem-matter-of-fact, grounded, funny and fresh. If readers can get past the stodgy beginning, this novel should sell itself by word of mouth. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.