Book Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes has been an author, some of whose books I have enjoyed immensely, while some I’ve been very lukewarm to. I came across this book in Netgalley’s titles, and couldn’t requesting for it. Luckily enough for me, I got approved as well.

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Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin. After living the dream in New York for a year – touring her self-help book, appearing on talk shows all over the USA and living it up in her 10-room duplex on the Upper West Side – she’s back to normality with a bang. And she’s got writer’s block.

Stella wants a clean break as she didn’t exactly leave New York on a high. Why is she back in Ireland so soon? Who is it who keeps calling? Stella wants to get back to being the woman she used to be. But can she? And should she?

The story goes back and forth to the Stella’s past and present, so in effect, you know what’s been happening, and only slowly do you get to understand how she got to where she did. Stella has separated from her husband, and back in Ireland after a flashy trip to America. Her daughter has chosen to get married to a man she met in America, and her teenage son, unlike other ‘normal’ teenagers does yoga and loves cooking. Stella can’t understand where she’s gone wrong. And of course, there is this tiny problem of having to write a book that she just doesn’t seem capable of writing anymore.

Over all, I was disappointed by this book. None of the author’s trademark humour nor was the plot engaging enough. Stella came across as someone who just gets carried along by the tide, sometimes an outright doormat, which made it difficult to empathize with her. I might have been disappointed because I have read much more engrossing and fun books by this author. Even her twitter updates are more fun.

The one thing that stood out for me, was the way Stella’s medical condition was described. It was vivid, and felt very real. That was one part of the book, where I could completely empathise with Stella. It made me cry and then rejoice when she recovered completely. The author must have done a tremendous amount of research to understand what patients with this sort of condition/disease go through. I did feel that she did a great job at portraying Stella’s feelings at that time. What I’ve always liked about Keyes’ writing is that they are not just ‘fun’ books, they have tackled hidden issues, like domestic violence and depression and in this book, it is the parts with Stella’s disease that I liked the most. That Stella somehow went missing when she recovered, or at least that was what I felt.

All in all, it isn’t a bad book, a 3/5 book for me, mainly because I think the author’s previous books made me expect more.

About the Author
Marian Keyes, born September 10, 1963, is a popular Irish writer, considered to be one of the original progenitors of “chick lit”. Keyes’ first novel, Watermelon, was published in Ireland in 1995. Since then she has published seven further novels and two collections of non-fiction, and has sold 15 million copies of her books in 30 languages.

This book is available on Amazon(UK).

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Lucy Sullivan is getting married By Marian Keyes

Cross-posted at Book Reviews at Bookrack

I have been a big fan of Marian Keyes since I read her ‘ Anybody Out There’.

‘Lucy Sullivan is getting married’ is a regular chick-lit with all the elements in place. Lucy Sullivan works in a boring office, in London. Her work mates persuade her to come with them to see a psychic. Lucy goes, despite being bankrupt and having no faith in fortune tellers. The psychic tells her that she sees marriage for her in the not too far off future, with someone who is not ‘her type’.

Lucy does not believe in it, although her work mates do let the whole world know that ‘Lucy Sullivan’ is getting married.  Lucy, manages to get all that under control but starts to wonder if the psychic was indeed telling the truth when she finds that some of her work mates’ fortunes were indeed coming true.  Lucy has the worst choice in boyfriends. Irresponsible characters, working in music or such like, who she is most likely to be paying for and looking after, during the span of the relationship and most of them Irish.

She also has a best friend Daniel, who every girl in town, drools after, but she is totally immune to, he is too responsible, holds down a good job, to be her type. Daniel is her best friend who listens to her when she needs someone to listen to and steps in as a date, when she is date-less and she is the same for him.  She also has issues with her mother who she believes is very hard on her father.  Lucy going on with her life, with her inappropriate boyfriends and her crazy girlfriends and roommates, is very funny read.

One day her mother leaves her father, and Lucy goes over to look after him. That in effect changes a lot for her. She realizes a few home-truths and sees the facts that had been staring at her, but she had previously chosen to ignore.

So does Lucy Sullivan get married, after all? Well, you have to read it to find out, but I assure you, if you do like  a good, light-hearted chick-lit, you will love this one. I laughed my heart out reading it. It was a real fun, light read.  I read such books every once in a while to chuckle away and laugh with abandon.

I would give it a three on five, because despite being a regular chick-lit, the story being quite predictable, it was still a very enjoyable read.