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Playing Away [Paperback]

Adele Parks
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 3.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

10 May 2012

Adele Parks' stunning debut novel, which became an instant bestseller, is irresistible, unputdownable and the nearest thing you'll get to an affair without actually having one...

Connie has been married for a year to her gentle, loving husband Luke. She thought she couldn't be happier. But she's just met John Harding. Imagine the sexiest man you can think of. He's a walking stag weekend. He's a funny, disrespectful, fast, confident, irreverent pub crawl. He is also completely unscrupulous. He is about to destroy Connie's peace of mind, but she can't resist. She's playing with fire. And playing against the rules...

*Includes bonus material*

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755394208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755394203
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Teesside, NE England, in 1969. I enjoyed a traditional 1970's childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from Leicester University, where I studied English Language and Literature, I've worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 I was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

I've always dreamed of being a writer and my first novel - Playing Away - was published in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified me as one of London's 'Twenty Faces to Watch', which was very nice of them!

I like to keep busy and to be described as one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK, (who wouldn't like that?!) Over two million copies of my work have been sold in the UK and I'm translated into 25 different languages. I've published twelve novels in twelve years, all of which have been Times Top Ten bestsellers. Whatever It Takes, my twelfth novel, examines those undeniable, lasting issues that seem to interest us all. It scrutinizes our theories of love, motherhood and infidelity with (I hope) honesty and humour. I'm known for examining the thorny issues of the lives we lead today with my trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Adele Parks' Playing Away is founded on that well-worn adage: the grass is always greener. Connie and Luke have been married a year and they're both ecstatically happy. Or are they? The reader quickly realises that Connie isn't short for Constancy. Away on a business trip, her loins irrepressibly draw her to the devilishly attractive John Harding and she rushes headlong into a heated affair. Connie soon becomes Con-Artist as she deceives her decent but dull husband. While her lover woos her with evenings at out-of-the-way, grubby pubs and with late-night calls and faxes, after pub closing-time, declaring his longing for her, Connie begins to confuse lust with fate and deludes herself he could be the one.

In Playing Away, the author has entered dangerous, forbidden territory by writing from the perspective of the adulteress--a traditionally unsympathetic character. However, Adele Parks has succeeded in making the reader despise the character's actions, without rejecting Connie, who is attractive, candid and exhilarating. So many novels these days focus on finding Mr Right, it is refreshing to come across one that looks beyond the wedding and proceeds to undermine the traditional stereotype--only men are tempted to stray. A scorching, subversive debut novel, this novel has all the ingredients of a successful modern romance but with a healthy dose of reality.

Adele Parks joins the new elite of twenty-/thirtysomething female authors who are sustaining the spirit of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary. By deepening the genre's significance and adding a sting to the tail, they are finding innovative ways to achieve more resonance with today's women. Nicola Perry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'When it comes to fiction reflecting feminine issues, Adele Parks has her finger on the pulse' (Glamour)

'Wonderfully plotted, moving and insightful...shot through with funny, tender and observant moments' (Daily Mail)

'Full of emotional set-pieces and real insight into relationships between men and women' (Heat )

'A fabulous mix of comedy, real life and emotional depth' (Daily Express)

'A wicked pleasure' (Woman & Home)

'She is a particularly acute observer of relationship ups and downs, and her stories are always as insightful as they are entertaining' (Daily Mirror)

'Guaranteed to keep you hooked until the end' (She magazine)

'Parks writes with wit and a keen eye for detail' (Guardian)

'Deliciously down to earth' (The Times)

'Entertaining and sophisticated' (Marie Claire)

'Observant, sensitive and funny' (Closer)

'Dark, funny and observant' (Cosmopolitan)

'Compulsively addictive' (Elle)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally un-put-down-able! 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
What a read, everything, from the humour, the lust, the friends- to the 'big affair' was compelling. i was amused, touched, romanced, saddened and thrilled by the story, from start to finish. My attention was grasped from the prologue and just didnt let go, it was easy to relate with Connie and feel her feelings, think her thoughts. We all have friends to whom we can match with Connies and Adele Parks manner of describing her characters is excellent, giving her reader the full picture. This is the first book to have made me shed a tear, and as soon as i reached the end i turned back to the beginning, wanting to relive the whole story all over again. However, my sister in law has tonight dragged the book, from my reluctant grasp with the promise of returning it when she has read it.........................will i ever see it again! Aaaaarrrggghh!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing Away - Read it and weep. 7 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's absolutely no way anyone can compare this book to the influx of "Bridget Jones Lookalikes" that have flooded the market over the past couple of years. I bought this book because I was intrigued by the description on the back, but I can honestly say it doesn't do it justice. I found this book one of the most compelling, heartbreaking and exciting I've ever read. If anyone's ever been in the position Connie finds herself in, you will smile when you recognise yourself in Adele Park's achingly good descriptions of the highs and lows that go with the territory of having an affair. It's so well written and sensitively true to life, that I felt throughly disappointed when I'd finished it. Not because the ending wasn't good - but because I couldn't read it anymore. Accusing "Playing Away" of being a "girly book" is a travesty. Thank you Adele, for writing something that I could have written myself if only I had the talent. An absolutely brilliant book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense, sad and unusual! 26 Aug 2000
By A Customer
I couldn't stop reading this but I still can't work out whether that was because I was really enjoying it or because I was dreading Connie ending up with John! It's a book I can't compare with any others aimed at the 'thirtysomething' market because it's very raw, real and gets you thinking about marriage and why people get so complacent about it. The writing style (odd in places) gets you inside the mind of Connie to truly understand why she embarks on the affair despite being in a very young marriage. This is a book which I am still pondering over a few days later!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great holiday read! 3 Aug 2000
By A Customer
A refreshingly honest look at the lives of thirty-somethings, who have been through the Bridget Jones singleton era, and have moved on. Totally engaging, and a book I couldn't put down!
A good 'girly' holiday read, with substance. Anyone who's ever considered an affair, will think again...
Definitely recommend - this is a book I have bought for several friends.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You just can't put it down 3 Aug 2000
By A Customer
A friend of mine recommended this book to me and I'm certainly glad I took her up on it. Playing Away got my attention in the first few pages and held it all the way to the end - it was just so funny, frightening, sad and also true to life. Connie is not always a likeable woman, but she shows that everyone has difficult choices to make and some people get them very wrong. I recognised so much of myself and my friends in the characters and the things life is throwing at them. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a summer read that will make them laugh and cry in one go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average novel 5 July 2008
Playing away is written in the eyes of one person (Connie), the story is very easy to follow and is based around a group of friends living in London, This was a very easy book to read and did not require much imagination to feel involved with the characters.

I felt that the novel was not very inspiring and so therefore bored me somewhat, this is not to say it is not everyone's cup of tea. Connie's seemingly perfect marriage does not give purpose to her affair so therefore did confuse me as to why the affair happened in the first place.

I also felt that the characters in the novel had endless supplies of money, indulged in too much alcohol and regularly used the lesser favourable of swear words. As far as I am concerned there is no passion in the novel and so I found it hard to become indulged in the book itself. I feel that the follow on story `Young wives tales' may be more inspiring as the characters are now developed.

All in all I wouldn't suggest that anyone would refrain from reading this novel but not to have too many high expectations before commencing a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly, I enjoyed it 18 Jun 2006
This is no great feat of literature - a novel about an affair which is little more than an obsessive ego trip, with a fairly transparent storyline, and main characters which are not entirely likeable -they run the range from too perfect (and arrogant with it) to downright frumpy by way of really annoying...

Despite all of this, however, I did enjoy the book - the subject matter (adultery) is unusual for what is essentially a romantic novel and it is dealt with honestly, though not sympathetically, and if you're looking for a fun read for the beach, it fits the bill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars reading it in parts 1 Sep 2000
By A Customer
To those who thought it was too unrealistic ... isn't life that way? I winced at how some remarks, mannerisms and actions were so plausible. I'm currently reading it in parts by nipping into my local bookshops - I would hate to give my beloved longterm partner a (true) impression of why I would actually buy this book. Moral - do not ever have that affair...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Heard her on the radio and thought she sounded good, so ordered a couple of her books to take on holiday. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dee
3.0 out of 5 stars An alright read
the story is a great story BUT it drags out far to much. i felt bored a lot of the time and just waiting for the book it finish! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joanne
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED!
Definitely one of my favourite books by Adele Parks. I think she gets the overwhelming infatuation down to a T - it was almost reminiscent of my teenage years, being snubbed by a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. A. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars genius
Brilliantly written. Adele Parks is one of the best writers for our generation! Can't wait to read my next book.
Published 8 months ago by Amg
5.0 out of 5 stars Grass most definitely isn't greener, Greenie!
A really great read! Anyone who has ever fallen for someone they shouldn't whether married or not will be able to relate to the roller coaster of emotions Connie went through in... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ibiza
4.0 out of 5 stars Nutty carer
Really enjoyed this book couldn't put it down ready to pick up my next one love Adele parks love her books
Published 9 months ago by jayne morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
another great book by Adele Parks. An easy and enjoyable read. I highly recommend reading Adele Parks' books, if you like funny romantic novels.
Published 10 months ago by Kimberly
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad....
I quite enjoyed this book. It was "slow" at the beginning but then as the story developed I started liking it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by nassia pavlou
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor first half - does contain spoilers
I really wanted to enjoy this but I thought the first half was so poor. It rushed into the affair, I felt no chemistry between the characters, why did she do it was so unclear, and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Masona3
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Wow what a roller coaster, emotional, sad, I wanted to ring. Connie' s neck I was very frustrated with her, didn't know which way this was going to go, but it kept me enthralled... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Georgie22
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