Stella Sweeney seems to have reached her mid-point in life and although she does not think she is going through a mid-life crisis, she is convinced that everything is happening because of something else that has already happened. Karma or coincidence?
Her two children are growing up and away from her, her daughter believes she is in love and her son is a world away from a typical teenage boy, her husband works constantly and she has nothing more in her life, other than trying to fight with the amount of Jaffa cakes that she eats.
Then illness strikes.
Illness that takes a long time to recover from.
During that recovery, although Stella communicates she has no idea that someone is keeping a note of what she is saying.
It is these notes that become Stella’s life once she has recovered.
She now begins another life in New York.
Marian Keyes weaves two strands of this story and we know Stella is back in Dublin so how did she end up in New York and why? By reading on we find out.
This is a very different from Keyes novels and deals first of all with a medical condition that I knew very little about and at times seemed so frightening that I wanted to cry in frustration with Stella. Somehow through it all Keyes injects in Stella her well-known Irish warmth and wit which is what makes her books so popular.
I am sure the tongue in cheek dig at the world of publishing in American as opposed to Ireland may well come from some sort of personal experience, but it made me realise what a hard slog and sometimes futile existence that authors have when they are promoting their work. I found the whole false identity very amusing but it does make you stop and think who we are? And what sort of life do we really want? And most importantly, only we can decide no one else can, they can only influence for their own benefit. Stella finds this out more than once.
I think this book is going to divide Marian Keyes fans and no doubt the critics will sink their teeth into it somehow – but I think it is a refreshing change for an author not to conform with what is expected and accepted as their normal output and try something different.
A good read, if slightly longer than it needed to be.
This book is published 6 November 2014 on kindle and in hardback.
I received this copy from NetGalley in return for a review.
It has been a while since I read a book via NetGalley, but I had forgotten that sometimes all the formatting is not quite right or finished and this did slightly spoil the book for me. In the main it was to do with the extracts from Stella’s self-help book ‘One Blink at a Time’. This is more to do with me being fussy and having things just so than the actual plot and characters.