Picking up the story of Kate Webster and Cass Wivenhoe that began with First Friends, A Friend of the Family (published in the UK as Thea's Parrot) tells the tale of one of their friends, Felicity, a married woman who has been dallying with George, another mutual acquaintance. When Felicity is widowed, everyone expects George to pop the question. He does, but to the astonishment of Kate and Cass, his intended bride is not Felicity. With her usual generous helping of tears and laughter, Marcia Willett again provides her fans with a treat to be savored.
"Unanticipated plot twists, winsome characters, and a beguiling setting unite in Willett's captivating comedy of manners." - Booklist
In this sequel to First Friends, British author Willet revisits the lives of Cassandra Wivenhoe and Kate Webster, one-time boarding school buddies who later become military wives. But the best part of the novel involves these characters only tangentially. Instead, in the early chapters, Willet focuses on their friend Felicity Mainwaring, who, upon the death of her husband, assumes that her long-time lover, George Lampeter, will now marry her. But George instead chooses to wed the much younger and sweeter Thea Barrable. The story of how Felicity tries to thwart the marriage, and how Thea fights to save it, makes for engrossing reading as their three-way dance comes to a shocking conclusion. But the plot slackens when the doings of other characters, including Cass and Kate, dominate. This is one of Willett's early books, being published in the United States for the first time, and includes beautiful descriptions of the countryside in Devon. It's a shame that the book peters out in the middle, but the strong first half makes it worth picking up.
I really enjoy Marcia Willet's books. It just makes me want to curl up near the garden and sip tea. A wonderful group of dear friends in the English countryside. I believe that I've read them all!