Friday, 3 April 2015

Watermelon by Marian Keyes

"At twenty-nine, fun-loving, good-natured Claire has everything she ever wanted: a husband she adores, a great apartment, a good job. 

Then, on the day she gives birth to her first baby, James visits her in the recovery room to inform her that he's leaving her. Claire is left with a beautiful newborn daughter, a broken heart, and a body that she can hardly bear to look at in the mirror.   So, in the absence of any better offers, Claire decides to go home to her family in Dublin. 

To her gorgeous man-eating sister Helen, her soap-watching mother, her bewildered father. And there, sheltered by the love of an (albeit quirky) family, she gets better. A lot better. In fact, so much better that when James slithers back into her life, he's in for a bit of a surprise."

I am on a mission to re-visit each and every one of Marian Keyes books.  It has been such a long time since I read the early books that whilst I know I love them, I can't remember any specifics about them (other than the fabulous Walsh family, in some of them).  I realised this when I recently read The Mystery of Mercy Close and recognised the Walsh family names but couldn't place what they were like in their own books.

I adored Watermelon.  Claire has the most awful thing happen to her when her husband leaves her on the same day as she gives birth to her baby girl, and she returns to Ireland to her Mammy.  What follows is Claire's grief and utter meltdown and yet, you will find yourself laughing out loud at this book.  It has been a while since I physically laughed out loud at a book, but Marian Keyes manages to produce such wonderful one-liners and she makes it look absolutely effortless.  I am an avid follower of Marian on twitter, and parts of Watermelon are so vividly like Marian; it's like Marian Keyes on a page!

You get a real feel for each of the characters right from the very outset; they are all so well-defined and there is not any question in the reader's mind as to who they are and what they stand for.  I loved the interactions between each of the members of the Walsh family.

Whilst this book is now nearly 20 years old (!!!!), it is still absolutely fabulous and for a debut book, it is exceptionally good.  There isn't a single thing I don't like about it.  It is funny, engaging, romantic with a dollop of justice thrown in.  It is a timeless classic which I could easily read over and over again as there as so many wonderful lines in this book that I'm sure I missed some on my first re-read.  This is high praise indeed as I do not usually read a book twice, ever!!

I cannot wait to re-discover the rest of the Walsh family as I continue on my journey through Marian's books.

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