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The State We're In Hardcover – 4 Jul 2013

1,523 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755371372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755371372
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,523 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,420 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

Review

'Wonderfully plotted, moving and insightful...this is Parks' best yet, completely deserving of the accolades currently being heaped upon it and shot through with funny, tender and observant moments. I loved it' (Daily Mail)

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

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

Book Description

Adele Parks writes novels that real women want to read. Her books get right to the heart of the dilemmas women - and men - face in their lives; her characters are real as are the choices they make. She examines the thorny issues for life today with her trademark tell-it-like-it-is style and takes her stories to unexpected places.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

302 of 321 people found the following review helpful By Jody Hoekstra on 12 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
The description of ‘The State We’re In’ is quite vague, resulting in readers starting the book without hardly any idea of what will happen to the characters. In times where we often already know the entire plotline of a book before actually reading it ourselves, I thought this was quite a refreshing experience and will therefore try to not give away too many details in my review. The book tells the story of two characters, Jo and Dean, who meet on a flight from London to Chicago. Jo and Dean appear to be each other’s opposite; Jo is a slightly ditzy hopeless romantic, while Dean is an attractive cynical business man who does not believe in love. Jo wants someone to talk to during the long flight to Chicago, while Dean just wants to travel alone and in silence. I’m not going to say much more about the plotline besides that after this flight, both Jo’s and Dean’s life will never be the same again.

A lot of people have said that this is Adele Parks’ best novel, but seeing as I haven’t read any of her other books I can’t really compare it to anything else. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but as soon as I was I wanted to keep on reading and discover what would happen. The story is told from the perspective of four different characters: Jo, Dean, Clara and Eddie, and they’re all well-developed with fascinating and complicated background stories. The book deals with some universal themes: relationships, marriage, family ties, and Adele Parks explores these topics in an intriguing way. Her writing style is intense and detailed and even though this is my first Adele Parks novel, I am convinced she’s an amazing storyteller.
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117 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Laura smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been an avid reader of Adele Parks for many years and after reading her last novel Whatever It Takes and finding it somewhat lacking it’s usual sparkle I so wanted The State We’re In to be good.

This was an unusual story, we start off in 80′s London with the stories of Clara and Eddie, both of whom are young married and unhappy. We are given the outline of a brief affair between them and from there we jump forward to 2005 where we meet Jo.

Jo is a romantic and single 30 something who having failed to find her happy ever after decides to jet off to Chicago to stop the wedding of the fiancé she jilted at the altar many years before. On the flight she meets Dean and decides to open her heart to him.

It is such a difficult book to critique because it went through peaks and troughs but for me there were too many slow moments. I just couldn’t get into this book. I had to keep forcing myself to go back to it. I’d read a few pages then lose interest again, this continued until around 70% of the way through then I finally found my groove with the book and from there to the end I really enjoyed it.

It had a very good ending but I won’t give any hints, it is a trawl though to get to the ending and I can’t say it’s left me feeling overly positive towards the work of Adele Parks, she seems to have written a heroine who lacked any real depth of emotion for much of the book. She came across as too flighty, too flimsy and that made it difficult to fall into the story with any enthusiasm.

I liked it but I’m glad I’m finished as it did feel like a long slog.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clare J on 31 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am very aware that plenty of other people loved this book, but for me, it just didn't work. I don't need main characters to be likeable, I just need them to be plausible. Here I found myself in the strange position of having a main character I really couldn't warm to, who - to my mind - implausibly attracted too much attention and affection from those around her. At times, I did find myself more drawn in by the story - but these times were when the focus was shifted away from Jo. I also found the ending very unsatisfactory - more 'bolt-on' than built in - which was down to the pace of the writing at the end rather than the actual outcome.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Hollygo on 21 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book just didn't sit right with me at all, I feel I've read a different book to the other reviewers. I found the characters totally unlikeable especially Jo who is spoilt, selfish and quite often ridiculous. I think this is actually Adele Parks' plan and you are then supposed to start to understand her and fall in love with her. Well I didn't, nor with any other of the 3 main characters, I started to a little with Dean....but not quite enough. The ending actually made me laugh, it was so forced and can't help thinking it was trying to match the oh so beautiful end to 'Me before you' but without Jojo Moyes' wonderful comedic and insightful writing it just didn't quite get there. Not for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Portybelle on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book and raced through it in a couple of days. It's difficult to say what it's about without giving away some of the plot-line. A chance meeting on a plane leads to Dean and Jo feeling a strong connection despite seeming to be polar opposites in their attitudes to love. And it turns out they have a much stronger connection that they thought! Adele Parks writes about her characters' emotions beautifully and I for one, found the storyline completely believable. Hadn't read any Adele Parks before but will now!
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