The Future Homemakers of America

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9781841153124: The Future Homemakers of America
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Filled with warmth, wit and wisdom, The Future Homemakers of America takes us to the heart of female friendship. A novel fans of DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD will not be able to resist.

Norfolk,1953. The Fens have never seen anything quite like the girls from USAF Drampton. Overpaid, oversexed and over here. And every one of them a graduate of Future Homemakers of America.

For five American Airforce wives, waiting eagerly, or in some cases, not so eagerly, for their husbands to return safely to base after a busy day keeping the Russians at bay, there is little to do apart from make chicken pot pie and watch the new Queen get ‘coronated.’

No surprise then, when one or two of them dare to look beyond the safety of the perimeter fence for a little excitement with the natives. In the freezing Fens they meet Kath Pharaoh, a reticent, but proud Englishwoman. Bonds are forged, uniting the Americans and Kath in a friendship that will endure distant postings and the passage of time.

This funny and moving novel charts their progress, through the years, as they discover that finely-honed domestic skills alone don’t equip a woman for life.

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Review:

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

Review:

'The Future Homemakers of America is a warm, life-affirming novel that offers its readers pure pleasure.' The Times

'This is an absorbing, funny, lively and sometimes moving story.' Sunday Times

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9781841153131: The Future Homemakers of America

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ISBN 10:  1841153133 ISBN 13:  9781841153131
Publisher: Fourth Estate, 2002
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