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Anybody Out There
Anybody Out There
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nobody worth knowing about, 11 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Anybody Out There (Paperback)
Not a good book in my mind. Not that my negative review will count for much when you see all the great ones on this site. But for what it's worth... a friend gave me this because she couldn't believe I've only read one other Marion Keyes book even though she knows the type of book I quite enjoy. First off, the book is so thick and the print is tiny it almost gave me a headache trying to read it and I don'tneed glasses. But the story really bugged me. I sort of liked the romance and how she met her husband, and I instantly knew something had happened to him so wasn' surprised although I'm not clear whether or not she meant us to be surprised Anyway, the family stuff really got in the way of the story... the detective plot drove my nutty, and i kept skipping to get back to her romance with Aidan. But even then the story fell flat for me. Sorry, but ive given her another go and don't think I'll bother again. At least now my friend knows what NOT to buy me for Christmas.


The Horse Whisperer
The Horse Whisperer
by Nicholas Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 11 Jan. 2008
This review is from: The Horse Whisperer (Paperback)
Can't believe I've never read this before but I read it last week after seeing the film with my husband who loves it. Great great read. The story unfolds beautifully keeping me turning from one scene to the next with interest, even though I have never seen what people see in horses. The character of the girl is heartbreaking and he paints a realistic picture of her pain and her poor relationship with her mother. Thought the ending was surprising (maybe because it's different from the movie). Think I like it better than the movie though because it seems more dramatic. Goes out with a bang not a whimper. Will read all his novels now.


Iris and Ruby
Iris and Ruby
by Rosie Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spectacular novel!, 5 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Iris and Ruby (Paperback)
I have never read a Rosie Thomas book before. Now I am going to go out and buy all of them. Iris and Ruby is a spectacular romantic read about a doomed epic love that shaped a woman's life so proufoundly that even nearing death she clings to her memories of a bygone time and the life that should have been - telling her stories to her granddaughter, who absorbs them with a quiet fascination - the bond between them slowly growing to the heartbreaking end. Iris's story is told to her granddaughter who goes to Cairo looking for the grandmother she never knew, and finds a mesmerizing history that explains a lot about who she is and the family she has come from. I loved this book. I can't tell you how much. I cried to the point of howling tears at the end. Rosie Thomas is a truly gifted storyteller who weaves a description of wartime and modern day Cairo that unfolds colourfully before my eyes. Interestingly, the book is told in first and third person, switching often between the two. Yet the result is a captivating, because Thomas is such a skilled storyteller. I was so disappointed to get to the end. There are some books that are good but leave little impression, and then there are some books that we know we'll never forget - this is one of them.


Husbands
Husbands
by Adele Parks
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far-fetched, 4 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Husbands (Paperback)
While I enjoyed Playing Away and Young Wives Tales (interestingly a follow-up on Playing Away), I did not like Husbands at all. In fact, I couldn't finish it. The premise was so contrived and completely implausible -- who would ever think they could get away with bigamy? The characters were shallow and left me cold - I couldn't care about them from one chapter to the next and was irritated rather than entertained. Adele needs a good plot to carry her books, but I did not find it here.


Getting Rid of Matthew
Getting Rid of Matthew
by Jane Fallon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So Disappointing, 2 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Getting Rid of Matthew (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this book given the Richard and Judy hype and the fact that it sounded like a good idea for a story - mistress gets the guy and decides she doesn't want him and he has to be returned. Sounds like great fun and an original plot. But it quickly deteriorated into something predictable and completely implausible. And does this writer have a game plan to include the F-word in every page? I am not a prude, and there is a time and place for swearing in novels and I am fine with that, but this character swore so much it was annoying. I was finding myself looking for the F-word on the page! It added nothing to the character - who I have to say felt very one-dimensional. I didn't see any great story-telling skill here and I had to drag myself through it, only keeping going because I hate abandoning books once I've started them - and once I've paid for them. I'm not interested to read her next one though. Sorry. THis just didn't work for me.


How to Talk to a Widower
How to Talk to a Widower
by Jonathan Tropper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 2 Nov. 2007
This book is a fantastic read from start to finish. Jonathan Tropper is a master of delivering a strong movie-like plot, and heartfelt characters. I really cared about this man who lost his wife and can't get over her and can't build his life back again. Yet there was nothing depressing in the story - just touching moments that tug on the heartstrings and lots of laughs along the way, especially when it came to his teenage stepson. Jonathan Tropper is a fantastic writer. His dialogue is sharp and funny all the way, and there is nothing superficial about this book. I loved his mother and family who seemed very believable and well-developed, unlike the families in some fiction that come off cliche and flat. I can see this book being a movie - although it would be hard to incorporate all the cleverness of this book. If you want a really strong read where you will never find yourself skipping pages and actually dread the book ending because reading it has been such a great joy, then this is the one to get. I am going to read all his other books now because if they're half as good as this one, I'll be in for some entertaining hours...


The Secrets of Married Women
The Secrets of Married Women
by Carol Mason
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Brilliant!, 31 Oct. 2007
I got this book from a friend on loan but am going out to buy it because it was so good! One of the best books I've read in a long long time. The characters are so real and down-to-earth and I got to know them so well and their dilemmas that I could not put this book down until I found out what was going to happen. This writer reminds me of Marian Keyes in some ways, in that she writes about Newcastle and Geordies like Marian does the Irish, with that same warmth and honesty, and you can believe every page of this book. It's a really funny read - I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud - yet a chapter later I'd be crying. And there were so many twists to the plot that I did not see coming, even though I usually am great at guessing what's going to happen. Not in this case. Especially the end! This is a far richer and deeper book than the cover suggests with such brave and true obvservations about people and life and marriage - not at all a chick lit read because there's nothing superficial about the story or the characters, and the writing is far more sophisticated and intelligent than your average chick lit read. There were lines that I read twice because they really made me think hard about life, or love, or something touching which makes me say that this book is not your average straightforward read. It has layers to it that set it apart from so much of the women's fiction out there. I will definitely look out for her next book as there's something very true and sincere in this writers voice. Cannot recommend this book highly enough!


Fifty is Not a Four-Letter Word
Fifty is Not a Four-Letter Word
by Linda Kelsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, 31 Oct. 2007
I liked this book enough to read it in about three sittings. Not as sharply funny as I had hoped for. Also I didn't care for her view of her mother - very hard when it came to the death. Made me wonder if this was very realistic, and made me like the main character less. Enjoyed her career fiasco, although this is yet another book that centres on the popular chicklit theme of women in the media/pr/magazine industry which I don't find fresh any more. On the whole, a good book, but not a great book.


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