This book’s been sitting on the TBR shelf since forever (or as long ago as the paperback came out) as my reading version of the best chocolate when my soul needs a treat. And in need of a treat, it has been. Also it’s been Christmas, so this has been my post-festive treat. Ah, why do I have to explain myself to anybody? I’ve been in love with Marian Keyes‘ writing ever since ‘Watermelon’ eased my troubled brow and having a new book by the lady herself has always been one of the highlights of my frazzled life.
I have to admit to not particularly enjoying ‘The Brightest Star in the Sky’ (I even gave it to our charity shop, I was that disgruntled with it) and I know I wasn’t alone. But this isn’t about that. This is about this.
And My. Goodness. Me. Such A. Return To. Form. I flew through it. This is a sign of a good book – the pages turn by themselves, the plot weaves effortlessly through someone else’s life and you’re so drawn into it that it feels they’re a part of your own. And, as I’ve always found whilst reading Marian’s words, I felt a little piece of me in parts of each character: through their thoughts, their deeds, their failures and their dreams – the mark of excellent writing and something I’ve always aspired to.
Stella Sweeney is everywoman (as are a lot of Marian’s characters) and so identifiable and real that it hurts to put the book down at the end. She’s had her share of crappy stuff happen to her, so she deserves a chance at happiness again – in whatever form it takes. I was rooting for her from the get-go. I particularly loved the character Jeffrey, her very ‘Kevin & Stacey’ teenage son with his perfectly acerbic take on his and his mother’s life.
As spookiness would have it, I’ve just finished reading ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ which also highlights the hideousness of ‘Locked in Syndrome’ and which I shall be reviewing next.
I’m not going to give an extract from ‘The Woman Who Stole My Life’ because none would give it the justice it deserves; you’ll have to take my word and read it. It should be on prescription for Post-Christmas-Blues.
Oh, I also loved that the title worked so hard for itself. I love it when this happens. Just when I thought “Aha, so this is why it has the title”, I then found later on that it also had another twisty-turny way of representing itself. Brilliant.
9/10 Marian Keyes back doing what she does best. (Although I’m sure her cakes are pretty special too).