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4.4 out of 5 stars27
4.4 out of 5 stars
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I loved this book and devoured it in a day and a half - despite being at work at the time! No mean feat I can tell you (hope my boss isn't reading this). Basically the book is a touching, and very funny portrait of a marriage which, though basically happy, has gone a little tired at the edges, combined with a real page-turning mystery involving Faith's best friend Lily, a glamorous magazine editor. What WAS Lily up to? (I guessed completely wrong) and what WAS Joss's secret? (ditto ditto). I thought Minty Malone was very funny and so is this: in particular, the stuff about Graham the dog and Faith's teenage daughter Katie, an amateur (but brilliant) psychiatrist - was hysterical. Lily is a wonderfully witty character - Faith putty in her hands, until she starts to wise up. Isabelle Wolff's plots are always unpredictable and I loved the clever twist at the end of this one. As with Minty I closed the last page with a huge soppy grin on my face and a sense of harmony restored. I can't wait to read the next novel by this insightful and very funny author.
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on 11 March 2001
'Out of the Blue' is a gripping read from start to finish. Faith, the naïve heroine, engages our sympathy from the opening scene. We spend the rest of the novel either willing her to wake up and see things as they really are (the stability of her marriage, the duplicity of her new boyfriend, the wiles of the delicious Lily) or willing her on to achieve the happiness she deserves (as in the wonderful closing scene).
Faith is ably foiled by - a favourite character - her insightful daughter, Katie. Some of the most humorous scenes involve Katie's wry, Freudian insights into relationships. Like Faith's dog, Graham, Katie instinctively distrusts the new boyfriend, Jos. The scene where she pinpoints his fundamental untrustworthiness is one of the best in the book.
Isabel Wolff is an entertaining, thoughtful writer who has, in this her third novel, given us a story full of humour, sharp observation and pathos. Thoroughly recommended!!
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on 22 April 2001
Many of us read light romantic fiction for sheer escapism - boy meets girl, both overcome some problem in their relationship, equals satisfyingly happy ending. Out of the Blue has all the necessary ingredients for a good, light-hearted read - save that the hero and heroine already happen to be married. Yes, their marriage will be saved, despite the hero's, and then the heroine's infidelity - but how? Isabel Wolff's plot of characteristic twists and turns unfolds intriguingly and ingeniously, leaving the reader wrong-guessing at times, until it reaches its inevitable happy conclusion. However, unlike much of the same genre, the author's blend of wry, at times throwaway, humour and clever characterisation, set this novel apart. The mix of characters - Faith's kind-hearted husband, strange daughter Katie and repellent friend Lily, not forgetting the anthropomorphic Graham - make compelling reading. The plot's twists and turns, with Faith's boyfriend Jos' 'secret' paramount, will make you want to read this book in one sitting - and then go back to pick up the nuances and clues you missed the first time round.
If you haven't read her first two books (which also bring the London scene alive in the mind of the reader) - The Trials of Tiffany Trott and The Making of Minty Malone - make sure you don't miss them either.
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on 30 March 2001
Isabel Wolff's books are always page-turningly gripping and this one is no exception. From the minute Lily mischievously sows the seeds of distrust, I was gripped as to what Faith would find out about Peter. I felt that it was almost as though she *wants* to find out that he's been playing away. I've been married for eight years and I identified with Faith's inner emotional fatigue. She's happy. Life is good and yet... I had no idea what Lily was up to. Was it all a way to get a big story on Faith in the magazine? Was she after Peter herself? Did she secretly hate Faith? Did she want Faith to be a carefree singleton like her? I couldn't work it out until at the end it all became clear and I realised that all my guesses had been wrong. I didn't like Lily much, but she really made me laugh - her one-liners were brilliant. And I understood why she was so driven. The references to Othello were clever - Wolff has clearly turned the Othello/Iago relationship upside down. And to me that's the pleasure of reading a book by Isabel Wolff . It's chick-fick, sure, but at the same time it's exceptionally well written for the genre, is quite literary, but above all is also very funny. But this time there was quite a bit of sadness as well as Faith realises just what she's unleashed. She has only herself to blame for allowing Lily to manipulate her, and yet I didn't lose sympathy for her. The dog was a great character - an unwilling accomplice in Faith's search for evidence at the beginning, and her great comforter as things collapse. I also thought the weather metaphors worked really well. I read Out of the Blue in two days and can't wait to read Isabel Wolff's next book.
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on 17 July 2001
This is the third of Isabel Wolff's romantic comedies and I wasn't sure if this one would live up to the expectations created by her previous two novels, but it did. The story focuses on the effects of infidelity, or rather suspected infidelity, on a long term relationship. The protagonist is rather gullible, but then again, she did get married very young and had never experienced the trials and tribulations of the heroine in Wolff's earlier novel, Minty Malone. The plot becomes rather complicated as you try to second-guess who's manipulating whom - the only honest character seems to be the amazing dog, Graham, who has to suffer watching his owners descend into needless marital strife. For anyone who's been married a long time, I'd say read this and take heed. Thankfully, it does have a positive ending!
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on 27 May 2002
This book stays on the same classic chick-lit territory that Minty Malone and Tiffany Trot inhabited. Faith is a woman with marital problems from which she is distracted by the implausibly handsome and charming Jos. There are a couple of minor sideplots involving her best friend, Lily, and the activities of her precocious children. It's a shame these weren't developed further, as the supporting characters are interesting enough to merit stories of their own. However, this is a minor quibble in a book that certainly absorbed me totally for 24 hours!
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on 25 February 2001
'Out of the Blue' is wonderfully funny, well-written novel about a self-deceptive thirty-something TV weathergirl who is bored with her marriage. Faith is an endearing but naive woman; she is the mother to two intelligent, lovable but rather unusual teenagers; she owns an almost-human dog, Graham (my favourite character); and she is married to a long-suffering husband, Peter. She is also the best friend of the glamorous, if rather ruthless and selfish, Lily who sows the seeds that lead Faith wrongly to suspect her husband of infidelity. Wolff throws into the mix two supremely manipulative characters (Faith and Peter's new partners) to spice up the plot. Full of wonderful set pieces, including a side-splitting St Valentine's Day restaurant scene, this is a novel about deception and self-deception that is full of wit and pathos. The characters seem so vibrant, real and warm. They are instantly recognisable as people we all know.
Wolff's most intriguing character is Lily. This beautiful, witty editor of an upmarket women's magazine drives the events of the novel. And she also happens to be black. I take my hat off to Wolff who must be one of the first UK writers, if not the first UK writer, of mainstream commercial fiction to include a strong and interesting black female protagonist. She has been particularly courageous in choosing not to make Lily 'nice'; the character is instead driven, ambitious and sharp just as any highly visible successful career woman would be, no matter what her colour. Where black women exist in commercial fiction, they are usually 'nice' victims who serve to emphasise the moral uprightness, compassion and (left-wing) social conscience of the white protagonist(s). As a professional black woman who is making her way quietly in the world without flourishing a shoulder-hugging chip, I find Wolff's characterization of Lily refreshing. Hurrah for Lily! Hurrah for 'Out of the Blue' and hurrah for Isabel Wolff!
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on 5 April 2001
This is a great book that is really enjoyable. It tells the story of the naive Faith and her husband Peter, through the many twists and turns in their marriage, in a witty and yet sympathetic way. The characters are so well described that they come to life, and even with rough edges, you cannot help but like them, and be so curious about what happens next that you cannot put the book down. The jokes are made with a light touch and they come thick and fast. This is one of my favourite books by my favourite writer.
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on 29 April 2001
everytime i had a spare minute i would reach for this book it was a very enjoyable and interesting read,showing some of the lengths people go to through jealousy and the fact that things can be put right if only people persevere and fight for what they really want. a good read for people of all ages and especially women.
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on 10 April 2001
Faith is a weathergirl on tv with 2 kids and learns her husband has an affair. Should she forgive him? Should she divorce him? Her friend Lily is only too happy to put in her 2 cents and then Josiah comes on the scene. Could her everyday life become exciting?
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