Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Back to Life - Part Two - Holiday reading

When I went on holiday this year I was most of all looking forward to reading the new Marian Keyes book 'This Charming Man'.
Having looked forward to it for years, literally (I think it is just over two years since 'Anybody Out There' hit the shelves) I was almost delirious with excitement about it.
When I saw it was released and in the shops a few days early I made it my mission to get my mits on a copy and then had to put it in my suitcase straight away to resist the urge to read it there and then.
The thing is though, the book is big - really big - and didn't fit in my wee handbag so I popped Sharon Owens' 'The Trouble With Weddings' in my bag instead. (Now released in the UK as 'Revenge of the Wedding Planner').
I started reading it on the plane and it was, truly, one of the funniest, warmest books I've read in many a long year. It was chatty, warm, oozed delicious dresses, decadent interiors and a house on Eglantine Avenue which I covet with all my heart. (In her book 'It Must Be Love' Sharon wrote about my dream kitchen... the two of us should get together and create dream houses, honest).
It had laugh out loud moments, risque love scenes, a sexy bar man, wedding cake dilemmas and a very funny series of twists and turns. And yet at the heart of it there was a serious message about love, forgiveness, friendship and family.
It was delightful, entirely.
And it was only then, when it was done that I moved on to Ms Keyes.
There is so much I want and need to say about this book - because just so much happens in it. It is hard to know where to start, so I figure a list of pros and cons probably works best.

(And I'll start with the negatives so we finish on a highnote. Will try not to spoil it, so this will be safe to read if you've not started/ finished yet).


  • Size 14 is not fat. Dear Marian, that annoyed me. I wanted to hunt you down and feed you chocolate and Dominoes Pizza. Size 14 is fine. And people who weigh 18 stone are not quite that obese they need to lifted from their houses by a crane.

  • Lola - perhaps the funniest chapters in the book but - shorthand got little bit annoying by end - esp in dialogue with Considine. Wanted small words. Missed small words. But realised book was behemoth of thing anyway and small words would have made it twice as long. Had baggage limitations on flight - so fair enough.

  • Alicia - we could have heard more from her. Wasn't really sure of her story or motivation.


  • This is perhaps Marian's best book. Although my heart will always belong to Rachel's Holiday - you never forget your first time.

  • The scenes of domestic violence were hard hitting (no pun intended) and powerful and wonderfully drawn.

  • The portrayal of Marnie's depression and drink problem was amazing - not easy reading (and I imagine not easy writing) but helped me understand alcoholism and helped me feel less alone as regards depression.

  • The funny bits are very funny. (Not as laugh out loud funny as Sharon Owens, but funny nonetheless)

  • The clothes are fabulous - and I do want Molichino hair.

Next on my reading list was 'The Memory Keepers' Daughter' by Kim Edwards - made me realise why I love chicklit so. It was an okay book - over written and overly flowery and made me want to throw it across the room several times - but also gave me new love for the name Norah. So not all bad then.


Fionnuala said...

I want that book! The Sharon one - have ordered the other one on the great big Amazon.

Shauna said...

I am with you on the Memory Keeper's Daughter. I remember thinking, "If you mention the bloody Motes of Light one more time I am going to throw this book in the loo."

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