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Olivia's Luck [Hardcover]

Catherine Alliott
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Oct 2000
When Olivia's husband Johnny announces, 'I don't care what colour you paint the hall, I'm leaving,' Olivia is understandably devastated. Left with an eccentric troop of builders camping in her back garden, a ten-year-old daughter with 'attitude' and a neurotic neighbour intent on foisting cast-off men in her direction, her dream home is suddenly less than dreamy.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 441 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (5 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755331214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755331215
  • ASIN: 0747220212
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.7 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,178,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

'People often ask me if I always had a burning desire to be an author, and the honest answer is no, in fact it almost happened by accident.

I was working as a copy-writer in an ad agency and tired of writing blurb for soap powder, began writing a novel under the desk. I had no thought of publication, was just doing it to relieve the boredom, but I must say it was a bit of a shock when my boss walked in one day and said we're not sure you're entirely committed and gave me the sack!

Actually I think that galvanized me and I was determined to finish it. I did, but it took a while: I was working freelance, and then pregnant with my first child so it wasn't at the forefront of my mind. When my son was born I discovered babies slept for great chunks of the day, so I revisited it, tapping it onto a computer my brother gave me. (The first draft was in long hand, I'm a complete Luddite by nature, and actually, still write my first draft into note books.)

My husband persuaded me to send it to an agent who took it - amazingly and then a few weeks later I had a publisher too. The Old Girl Network came out about a year later and the first time I saw it in a shop, I was so startled I ran out again! I'm convinced it was easier back then to get published, these days it's far more competitive because there are so many girls doing it I'm glad I started early!

I've written a few more since then, but some things don't change: I still get a thrill when I see them around. I hope you enjoy the books, I certainly have a lot of fun writing them.'

Catherine Alliott

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fans of Catherine Alliot's other novels will be pleased to find that they can add another page-turner to their growing libraries. Olivia's Luck is a combination of gentle farce, emotional heartache and some uplifting moments. Olivia (Livvy) recounts the sudden breakdown of her 10-year marriage and the swings and roundabouts that follow. Alliot has created a seductive cast of characters, from Livvy's 10-year-old daughter and the cockney builders to her mother-in-law and old school friends, all of whom seem realistic, with a dash of the drama queen for the fun of the story. Although--or maybe because--the novel is damning about the fate of marriages and the bad behaviour of men, the story will strike a chord with many thirtysomething women.

As with Alliot's other novels, this is a book that demands to be read in one sitting, devouring the pages alongside a box of chocolates. The ending is happy, in a fittingly idiosyncratic way, and a fine reward for an afternoon away from real life. Ultimately, though Livvy seems to lead a "a very unusual and complicated life ... nutters and weirdos at every corner ... on intimate terms with the police...", she is an ordinary 21st-century woman trying to carve out a comfortable life for herself and her daughter.


'An escapist read' Daily Express

'It's well worth reading this hilarious story' Weight Watchers magazine

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning...... 11 Oct 2000
In my opinion, this is the best from Catherine Alliott to date and i want to congratulate her on it. It is unusual in that it isn't exactly like the modern books of today, i.e. slightly scatty woman in her 30's, wants love, has a great group of friends etc etc, not that there's anything wrong with those traits, but this book includes all that and takes it a step further. In parts, its light reading but is a real page turner, i had to stop myself frequently from reading on ahead of myself. It covers a variety of aspects and isn't all about one thing, at times you laugh (Catherine Alliott is the one of the few authors who can make me actually laugh out loud) , at times you cry. There are twists and turns in every chapter that keep you guessing right till the last moment and i definitely recommend it to anyone who loves to read. I don't want to say too much about the storyline because there's so much to tell and i don't want to spoil it for anyone. You haven't got to be a particularly type of person to get stuck into this book, just read it and enjoy...!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book will have you laughing till your sides ache and the tears streaming down your face form puddles under your chin.I felt the characters to be wonderfully human with all their ups and down.Earlier on in the story Libby had come very close to doing the very same thing that Alf had done, the choice of weapon was different ,as were the motives ,but it shows how one person was ale to hold back while the was unable to. I loved the builders sub plot.This is a highly entertaining read ,I look forward to the next book by Catherine Alliot,I hope the lovely summer hasn't kept her from her keyboard.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Olivia is married with a ten year old daughter named Claudia. She thinks that she has the ideal life, until her husband Johnny leaves her for a nursery teacher, at her child's school. Olivia is understandably devastated, but then, as events unfold, bringing her arrogant, if gorgeous, husband's secrets to life, Olivia actually starts to wonder if she ever really knew Johnny as well as she used to believe...
I really enjoyed this story, and Catherine Alliott was certainly on form; this is another fun, yet sensitive, novel, although Alliott has yet to produce anything that I find quite as totally brilliant as her first novel, "The Old Girl Network".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever! 17 Oct 2000
As a huge Catherine Alliott fan, I ordered Olivia's Luck months ago, determined to save it until Christmas when I'd have some time to indulge myself. Not a chance! I was hooked on the first page - have just finished it - and have got to say it is not only Catherine Alliott's best ever book, but simply the best novel I've read for years. The characters are real, three-dimensional, impossible to be fictional (I feel like I'd recognise them in the street!), and the plotlines weave in and out, making the book a can't-put-down page-turner. No one story line turns out as you'd expect it to, and each one leads neatly into another twist, making the book multi-layered and brilliantly paced and plotted. The writing is superb, the humour truly funny, and the sad parts very emotional. Olivia's Luck has warmth, depth, intelligence, and a big, big story. I'd like to congratulate Catherine on achieving this, and say that I honestly can't recommend this book highly enough. Buy this for everyone you know for Christmas and they'll love you for ever!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable summer blockbuster 23 May 2001
It seemed perfect timing to publish this novel just as we hit a heat wave in Britain! I have spent a thoroughly enjoyable time reading the exploits of Livvy and her family and friends. Livvy as the main character is very believable, and is supported by a lively cast of 3 dimensional characters who added humour, drama, and emotion to the plot. Just one thing freaked me out about Livvy - just who wouldn't she leave her child with???? Or is it the norm to leave your 10 year old with the builders? And then to accuse Sebastian of being a child molester! However, I absolutely loved the character of Claudia, who seemed to sum up the "tweenie" age perfectly. I agree with the previous reviewer that the sub plot with the builders seemed to come out of the blue at the end, but I did enjoy the sub plots of Molly and Imogen. The irony of the ending for Johhny adds emotion and purpose to the story. As I said at the beginning, a great read, and I'm looking forwards to the next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! I was sad when I came to the end! 10 July 2001
By A Customer
This is the first of Catherine Allot books I've read but it certainly won't be the last. I'm usually so good at predicting what will happen next but this book had lots of little twists and turns. I loved her 10yr old daughter and the best bit of the book for me, was the conversation they once had, on the way to school, when 'Livvy' was definitly NOT paying attention to what her daughter was telling her, she was so wrapped up in the events that had happend to HER the previous evening, it was cleverly written and very very funny. To summorise, its one of those books, that when u come to the end, you place it on your lap, lie back, give a gentle sigh and smile!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Alliott's style! 6 Jan 2005
By Pikake
I have never considered myself a reader but after reading A Married Man, then Olivia's Luck, and most recently Rosie Meadows Regrets, I feel like a book worm! I love Alliot and simply cannot get enough! I wish I could pick up her books in local bookstores!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hilarious!
If you are like me and a person who likes to be seen as competent but in reality is a complete caper maker this book comes highly recommended! Read more
Published 12 months ago by katherine walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Another
An unexpectedly good story..Quite girly but not too wince making for the older reader. Liked her style and will buy more. Read more
Published 20 months ago by V E Hould
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Engaging
Aside from the casual but fortunately only ocassional use of homophobic language and a tendancy for characters to drink and drive, this is a brilliant read. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by IJKS
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!
One of those books that reads so easily that you finish it too fast. I loved every page and I can't wait to read all of Catherine's other books!
Published on 31 May 2005 by Henriette
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, yet so very funny!
Funny, funny, funny. Alliott's writing can swing all over the place, but when she is on, she is so very, very on. I just loved this book. Read more
Published on 30 April 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Can't-put-it-down-kind-of-book
Olivia's is an ordinary housewife who does extraordinary things. Molly & Hugh's are a definite treat to her life. Hope I had friends like hers. Beautiful written.
Published on 24 Sep 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, funny book.
This book will appeal to all women who have had problems with men, have been through a divorce or have been through a child custody battle. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2001
3.0 out of 5 stars an easy read and enjoyable
Catherine Alliott's books are always fast paced and no strain to read and this is better written than Rosie Meadows, she's pared down her writing and controled her tendancy to kill... Read more
Published on 12 May 2001
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