The lives of four very different women have been shaped—and battered—by one charming man. . . .
Ireland's debonair politician Paddy de Courcy—the "John F. Kennedy Jr. of Dublin"—has captured tabloid headlines and the imagination of his country with his charm and charisma. But the crushed hearts he's left behind him reveal more about his character than his winning, votegetting smile. Lola, Grace, Marnie, and Alicia have all suffered from his selfishness and cruelty. But with Paddy's political star ascending, the time is finally ripe for redemption . . . and perhaps a bit of revenge.
In her densest, most ambitious work yet, chick lit specialist Keyes (Sushi for Beginners) pushes into dark territory, exploring alcoholism, depression and domestic violence with authenticity and even offbeat humor. When Paddy de Courcy, "Ireland's most eligible politician," announces his engagement, the news breaks hearts all over Dublin. Lola Daly, a celebrity stylist who has been dating him for the past 16 months, is the most heartbroken of all and retreats to County Clare. Meanwhile, Dublin reporter Grace Gildee remembers Paddy from their college years, when he had a chaotic, codependent relationship with her twin sister, Marnie. Grace digs a little, and as the true extent of Paddy's capacity for evil is revealed, Grace moves to stop him and to finally teach him a lesson. To do so, she must make fragile Marnie revisit the most painful years of her life and engineer Lola's return to Dublin. Dry wit and distinctive narrative voices add levity and balance to a sad set of life circumstances. Pages will fly like wafting hankies toward the stunning, breathless conclusion.
The mood of this book is a bit darker than usual for Marian Keyes. I consider it to be the companion piece to Brightest Star in the Sky. Unlike her other works where humor and drama spread in equal parts and often intertwined, I find that this book is devoid of her usual humor except for Lola's pieces, which has Keyes's regular balancing act down to a tee. Not to say that the other parts are a total downer; it's just mostly irony and dark humor, which are not her usual fare. When I reread it, I skipped everything not Lola and was actually pretty satisfied with it, as it can stand alone once you know the whole story. So for that alone, I gave it 4 stars.
As for the short hand Keyes uses in Lola's part, it's definitely a stylistic choice and it doesn't bother me at all. It's meant to be kind of like a diary and, at least for me, it doesn't distract from the flow of words.
I would recommend this book, but not as anyone's first Marian Keyes experience.
This charming man
Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book as much as her other stories.
Could not stop reading!
So sad when finished this book! Keyes always great but this one her best! Twists and surprises and funny with heart. Loved it!