The Future Homemakers of America

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Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: August 20, 2008
Pages: 404
ISBN13: 978-0446679367


At an air base in post-war Norfolk, England five American air force wives while away the hours, clipping coupons, making chicken pot pie, waiting for their aviators to come home from beer call. Peggy, Betty, Audrey, Gayle and Lois who venture outside the perimeter fence in search of a little native excitement and make friends with an Englishwoman, Kath Pharaoh. Bonds are forged that survive distant postings and the passage of forty years.


"Laurie Graham writes comic novels with perfect pitch. She makes something artful and poetic out of speech, as David Mamet and Elmore Leonard do. With her latest novel, The Future Homemakers of America she has pulled off a coup."
—Nicolette Jones, The Independent

"My ‘Leave-the-phone-off-the-hook’ book of the year. Wonderful."
—Val Hennessey, The Daily Mail

"Superlative. The writing sparkles from first to last. A rich, many-layered portrait of Middle America. Where others have heaped scorn on the American Dream or peddled dewy-eyed optimism, Graham simply tells it like it was - and tells it brilliantly."
—David Robson, The Sunday Telegraph


Future Homemakers started with a photograph. It was part of an avalanche of old yearbooks that fell out of my mother-in-law’s closet in the Bronx. I love old photos. These girls smiling out at us, the Future Homemakers of 1954, were expected to marry Future Farmers, raise a family and live happily ever after. But the world changed. Marriages became more fragile and fewer women could afford simply be homemakers.

I knew immediately that I wanted to write about a group of girls like that, to follow them through their life changes. And the air force theme enabled me to set part of the story in a region of England that was my home for many years.

I grew to love these girls during the year it took me to write the book. And the most wonderful thing happened after it was published. I met a woman at a party and she said, “You wrote my story. I was an air force wife and then a widow, and it was just like you said.” You can do an awful lot of writing before you get a compliment like that.