Gransnet forums

Books/book club

May book club - A Good Catch by Fern Britton

(66 Posts)
LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 29-Apr-16 13:06:26

The winners of this month's book - more HERE - should be receiving their copies very shortly. If you're one of the lucky ones, please leave your comments and questions for Fern on this thread before the end of May. Happy reading!

jeberdes83 Mon 30-May-16 15:39:40

I found the first half entirely predictable. It was an easy read, not my usual cup of tea though. Introduced me to a new author. Have just passed the book on to my DIL, will be interested to hear what she thinks. It is good to have a light read now and again, and the English grammar is good. I don't mean that in a patronising way, because I find spoken English these days is appalling!

Roxannediane Mon 30-May-16 17:01:48

Just finished my copy (saved for my holiday) and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great beach read. Characters are well rounded and Fern is really good at describing people/places/ clothing/ actions so you can really get into the story and believe yourself to be a bystander as the story unfolds.
Great easy read... Have passed it on to my sister ... And you can't do that with a kindle!!!!

henbane Tue 31-May-16 16:55:13

Thank you for the book. I finished it over the bank holiday, between the acts at a music festival. It was well written and not as corny as the blurb made it sound, but a bit melodramatic! The characters did seem a bit cliched and I found it difficult to sympathise with them. Good holiday reading though.

nannyto5 Tue 31-May-16 18:49:53

I really enjoyed the story. Thank you Fern Britton. The climax kept building with different events happening. I won't spoil it for others, but I really wasn't prepared for that outcome in the last chapter. Enjoyed and now look forward to Fern's new novel

Radley Wed 01-Jun-16 14:36:26

I received this book on your giveaway and took it away on holiday . This book is an ideal easy summer read you feel
sorry for the main characters who bring out the well known
fact that money does not bring love or happiness . The novel
is enjoyable and well worth a browse

Alea Wed 01-Jun-16 14:48:10

I DIDNT qualify for a free copy sad,but have just finished it on my Kindle and am sorry to say I was disappointed. I couldn't care enough about the characters to get involved in what happened to them and it was all a bit rushed , superficial and stereotyped. Fern can do better than this.

FernBritton Thu 02-Jun-16 09:50:59


Many thanks for the book. I am enjoying reading it. I was wondering if it was based on Fern's life?

No, not based on my life but based on the life I know from living in Cornish villages over the last thirty years.

FernBritton Thu 02-Jun-16 09:52:29


Enjoyed "A good catch". It was a good read (and an easy read), just what is called for when sitting outside on a sunny day.

I understood the main 'denouement' Fern but not why 'certain people' moved away (especially as Cornwall was 'in their blood'). Why did you feel their move to be so necessary?

I felt that they needed to put a lot of distance between the pain of what had happened in Trevay and themselves. They found a part of the world not unlike Cornwall where no one knew their story. A new beginning for them all.

FernBritton Thu 02-Jun-16 10:11:22


I was expecting a light, funny, romantic chick lit sort of style book, based on the cover and blurb, and maybe on what I know of the author, but this turned out to be quite a dark Cornish saga, following the main characters from childhood to middle age. Certainly gave me lots to think about. I liked the fact that Loveday was curvy and all the boys fancied her more than the skinny girl(s). (Can you tell I am on the curvy side!?) I'll definitely try out Fern's other books after this; this was the first one I'd read.

My questions for Fern would be:
1. Do you think Jesse did the right thing?
2. Did you always know what the ending would be - or perhaps you had alternate endings up your sleeve, but decided on this one?
3. And finally - from an aspiring novelist! - how long does it take you to write a novel, and any tips for actually getting one finished? (I am halfway through my first, and floundering...)

Thank you so much GN for the book!

1. I think Jesse had done so many terrible things he couldn’t live with the thought of them any longer. He was a good man at heart but from an early age had been given the message that money and power were more important than personal happiness.

2. Good question! I didn’t know what the ending would be for a long time. I discussed it with my daughter and she was the first person who put the idea into my head. The thought that Jesse could not be allowed to carry on blossomed from there.

3. The best piece of advice I ever had was this; once you’ve started the first sentence don’t stop. If you do you’ll keep rewriting and it’ll never get past the first page. Be like Lot’s wife – never look back!

It takes me about a year to write each book.

FernBritton Thu 02-Jun-16 10:16:11


Thank you for my copy of "A Good Catch". I had not read any of Fern's books but I like Fern so was looking forward to reading it.
I wasn't sure what to expect and it was evident some way in that there was not going to be any great twists and turns to this novel. It was, however, a good wholesome read, well written. A skill in itself! I am looking forward to reading more of Fern's work including her Autobiography.
My question's for Fern, and I have limited these, are:
1/ Would you ever try to manipulate the lives of any of your children like the Behenna/Clovelly parents did?
2/ We were led to believe in many ways that Hal was Jesse's son. At the end you wrote that Hal was as tall and lanky as his Father. Was that the final nod to him being Mickey's son after all?
3/ Would you consider writing a sequel following Mickey and Loveday in New Zealand? Characters that I believe could be built on and could really come into themselves outside of the safety of their Cornish comfort blanket. (please feel free to message me)
4/ What would be your best tip to anyone new to writing in order to get their work published?
5/ Is Goose your daughter Winnie?

Thank you! x

1. I would never attempt to manipulate my children’s lives. Obviously I have encouraged them to enjoy school and all their subjects but I also support them wholeheartedly in their choices. We only want our children to be happy, functioning people don’t we?

2. Even I’m not sure but, yes, I think Hal is Jesse’s son. I’m glad we don’t find out though.

3. What a neat idea! I would have to go to New Zealand to do some research. I most definitely fancy a trip there!

4. Write a synopsis first and then about 5-10 thousand words. Look out for writing competitions in magazines, etc. (Good Housekeeping do a good one each year) as very often the prize is to be published.

5. Goose is my daughter Grace who is 19 now, but she’s always been my little Goose!

FernBritton Thu 02-Jun-16 10:16:58


Four friends grow up in a tiny Cornish fishing village. Greer is beautiful, slim and stylish and more interested in interior design than the sea. Her friend, Loveday, is homely and plump with no dress sense. Greer thinks no one would be attracted to her, but both boys, Jessie and Mickey are. Greer has been attracted to Jessie since she was a child and wants to marry him. Her parents, and his want the match to unite two fishing fleets and businesses.

Will Jessie be steamrolled into the marriage with Greer, or will he follow his heart. Love or money?

Add some-one into the equation that knows a secret that could threaten all four of them, and you have a compulsive read.

The descriptions of the Cornish coast are very good - did Fern live by the sea to absorb the seaside atmosphere?

I have lived and worked in Cornwall and holidayed there all my life. I find peace and happiness even on a damp day with the sea roaring up the beach.

FernBritton Thu 02-Jun-16 10:18:19


I love books set in Cornwall and I enjoyed this book. A good book to pick up, read a bit and get back to the housework. I will be passing it on to my Mother-in-law who is going on holiday next week.

I have to say that Jesse's action at the end was unexpected and I didn't see it coming or could understand why he would do that. It seemed out of character. Or was Fern making the point that people can be battling demons on the inside whilst being seemingly strong and fine to other people?

Thank you xx

Exactly that. Suicide is a courageous act and a heartbreakingly selfish one too. I believe that Jesse could no longer live with the man he had become. His mind was in turmoil and it many ways had shut down. He believed it was his only way out.

chelseababy Wed 08-Jun-16 14:03:52

Fern is on radio 5 live after 2:30 today talking about her new book The Postcard. I've just finished The Holiday Home which I preferred to A Good Catch.

ranorman45 Fri 10-Jun-16 11:01:31

Enjoyed reading this book whilst on holiday,very easy to read on the beach or around the pool ,not the most satisfying ending though seemed to try to wrap everything up in a rush and left me with many questions nor really answered,thanks for giving me the book to read though still quite liked it.

AnnB Fri 10-Jun-16 15:06:24

Thanks for my copy of the book which was much appreciated. I'm on holiday and it is a good holiday read with an interesting story line and characters. I couldn't really figure out why Greer and Loveday had stayed friends for so long and I would have liked to have a fuller picture of Greer who was supportive of her friend Loveday, and said all the right things but appeared to be such a snob in her private thoughts. Do we think people really often think so critically about their friends? (perhaps we do and if so shame on us!!!) That was an interesting thought, thanks Fern!