Breakfast at Darcy’s – Ali McNamara

Darcy inherits an island, when her Aunt Molly passes away. However it is not that simple and there are conditions to this bequest. Darcy must create a community on the island of Tara, off the coast of Ireland and live there for a year.

Darcy is a city girl, so life on an island is going to be a huge cultural shock. Leaving everything she knows and everyone she knows behind. Although her even more citified friend Roxi joins her, everyone else does not know each other. They all now have to get on and relationships and friendships are formed, lost and re won as the year passes on Tara.

This has the formula of a rather good plot, however it is not as strong as it could have been. Too much was predictable, you could see where most relationships were going to end up. You had the man with the glint in his eye who was always going to break hearts and the mean moody one who is simply misunderstood. Then there was the solicitor and the handyman, the shop girl and the builder. It was just too much the same.

For me it’s strengths lie in the descriptions of the scenery, the weather how it changes so suddenly and how it impacts on them all and the local folklore which seems to go with most island communities. It is that which kept me reading.

I was disappointed with this novel, but for me much better than her début book, that said I do not think I will be seeking out her third.

I have just been back and reflected on what I wrote for Ali  McNamara’s first novel, and I can see that I wanted improvement in structure and more depth to a book. I will say that this book has delivered that, but could have a gone a lot further. I do like the odd twist in a book, even if they are classed as chick lit or women’s fiction. 

The title flummoxed me a bit. I got the name bit, but the “breakfast”was rather a random addition. From the title, I thought some little cafe run by someone called Darcy. From reading the blurb, perhaps it was going to be where we started each day with this character. But no. From reading the book I was still none the wiser! It’s a shame because the book had so much going for it but did not quite deliver.

I don’t think this authors books are for me and I feel rather sad about that. 

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