Monday, 8 June 2015

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

"International bestselling author Marian Keyes is bringing you another masterfully told story full of wit and charm.

'Name: Stella Sweeney.

Height: average.

Recent life events: dramatic.'

One day, sitting in traffic, married Dublin mum Stella Sweeney attempts a good deed. The resulting car crash changes her life.

For she meets a man who wants her telephone number (for the insurance, it turns out). That's okay. She doesn't really like him much anyway (his Range Rover totally banjaxed her car).

But in this meeting is born the seed of something which will take Stella thousands of miles from her old life, turning an ordinary woman into a superstar, and, along the way, wrenching her whole family apart.

Is this all because of one ill-advised act of goodwill? Was meeting Mr Range Rover destiny or karma? Should she be grateful or hopping mad?

For the first time real, honest-to-goodness happiness is just within her reach. But is Stella Sweeney, Dublin housewife, ready to grasp it?"

The Woman Who Stole My Life is simply fabulous and utterly divine.  It is engaging, funny in places, always messy, delicious and real.  It feels so right to be back in the arms of Marian Keyes.  

Whilst the main narrative of the present day spans only a dozen or so days, the story covers a four and a half year period as we slowly come to learn how Stella ended up in NYC and then how she ended up back in Ireland in the state she is in.  I enjoyed the time when Stella was in the hospital most, watching that 'spark' develop into a raging fire.  I also enjoyed watching that fire burn and I have to say I enjoyed it burning in Ireland more than in NYC.

The Woman Who Stole My Life is not gripping in a psychological thriller type of way, but it does draw you in and it keeps you engaged.  It is plump; full of detail (none of which you want to skip right over) and Keyes' has the knack of making you feel like you are in the room with the characters.  

I have to admit it is not my absolute favourite Marian Keyes book; it does not have the warm Irish family loveliness that the Walsh family books have and I also have to admit that it is not totally recognisable as a Marian Keyes book from the style of writing; it didn't feel like reading Marian (in the way that reading Watermelon, for example, feels like being in a room with Marian Keyes telling you a story).  However, at the same time, it is not totally unrecognisable - I still loved it; it is absorbing and I love getting lost in the world of Marian Keyes.  I am not sure MK could ever disappoint, and she certainly doesn't here!

You can follow Marian on twitter here and I wholeheartedly recommend you do so; if you do nothing else this year, do this.  She is hilarious, the funniest thing on the planet!

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