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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2001
It's a testament to the strength of Patricia Scanlan's writing that her readers, whether male or female, can empathise with her characters. In this tale of a betrayed wife, we meet a real woman: no Jackie Collins-esque maneater, but a real human being, complete with frailties, faults and vulnerablility. Scanlan manages to avoid the obvious trap of creating a cartoonish lothario in Mark and a martyred heroine in Francesca. Even "the other woman" is portrayed with depth and sensitivity. And that's what keeps you reading. You KNOW these people: you work with them, you live with them, you've grown up with them. You quite possibly might BE them.
This is old-fashioned story-telling at its best. No pretensions. No clever-cleverness. Something some of Ms. Scanlan's peers might care to note. In an age where there is a worrying return to the boorish objectification of women (check MTV, magazines and a lot of the newer TV dramas if you don't believe me), it is refreshing to presented with such a credible character in a book. Somewhere out there, there MUST be a TV producer who can recognise the excellent mini-series waiting within these pages. And when that is broadcast, perhaps Scanlan's wonderful "Promises, Promises" and "Mirror, Mirror" will be filmed too.
Patricia Scanlan is an outrageously under-recognised author in Britain. This book only makes that status even harder to believe.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the first of Patricia Scanlon's novels I've read and it won't be the last. I was hooked from the very beginning and found the scene in the bedroom where Mark is taking down the Borders paining so emotional I shed a tear with him. There're countless novels on the bookshelves of husbands ditching wives who in turn become stronger people as a form of revenge, but this one has that little bit extra. Loved it, could not put it down and will be purchasing a lot more of her books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2004
Fab, fab, fab, this book was so good, i even started crying at one point. You'll get there and no what i mean. I think this book will hit a nerve with half of the population. Please read city girl, city women and city lives. In that order. I took the first two on holiday and thought they were brilliant, i couldnt wait to get home and buy city lives. Put it this way my husband hasn't read a book in 10 years, so picked one of them up on holiday and hasn't put any of them down since. He's read all four and i'm impressed. I can honestly say patricia scanlan is a really great author. P.s I think because the books are set in ireland and thats where my husband comes from he got all attached and reminiscent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2003
This book gets going from the first page. I hadn't read a book in quite a while due to having two babies and I picked this up at my sister's one day and after taking a quick look at it and before I knew it I had read the first chapter. Patricia Scanlan really knows how to tell a story. I just had to keep reading it and when I wasn't I was thinking about it, it felt so real, as if these people were friends of mine! A definite holiday read but be warned take a second book because you are likely to read it in the first few days around the pool!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2002
Can you imagine how it would feel to find out that your marriage is a sham, losing your husband to a younger devious woman. Francesca struggles to get her life back on track, with help from her family and friends she converts from a house wife to a career woman in PR. This book will make you realise that nothing is impossible and franesca is an inspiration to women as it is never too late!!. I would recommend this book to any woman who has or is going through a similar situation. It also shows how both women feel about the same man. There was no winner as each person lost some dignity and went through pain. There are as always a couple of surprises that will keep you hooked. I even brought the book to the gym with me and read it on the treadmill! Did i enjoy it? yes yes yes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2015
Francesca's Party is the first of Patricia Scanlan's novels I have read. I am glad that I did not read the critical reviews before doing so. Although referring to the house in which the couple have lived, with the husband and wife in traditional roles, as 'his' and suggesting that Francesca has no talents, despite her having hosted large social occasions and been a successful corporate spouse might have alerted me to some problems with them. Francesca has indeed been in a traditional role in a middle class relatively wealthy marriage. The novel demonstrates the way in which experiences which may be dismissed because they are 'women's' skills and supportive can be adapted to achieve success in the paid workforce. As a pointer to dealing with the misery of losing a familiar world, Francesca is encouraged not to give her anger and grief so much space that alternative experiences cannot enter. Fortunately this doesn't happen too soon as Francesca's forthright expression of her anger is liberating. Her tears are not quite so liberating, but certainly ring true. The way in which the younger career woman is depicted also demonstrates her vulnerability, while not undermining her career choice. The men do less well, their dependence on having a supportive woman in their lives, a familiar home life to fall back upon when difficulties arise becoming increasingly apparent. I thought this was a good read. Its message about the way in which women's traditional role, while one which they should reconsider as a long term lifestyle, also requires skills and talent is a positive contribution to women's reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2003
I loved this book so much. Right from the first page you are in love with it. It was so easy to read and very funny. It seemed like you were actually watching Nikki,Mark and Francesca living instead of just reading about them. I felt like i knew the characters and to think that they are not actually real people makes me very sad. When i finished this book i really missed Francesca and i felt as if some very close friends had moved away. Everyone must read this lovely book. love Rachael xoxooxox
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2004
This was the first of Patricia Scanlans books that I read (and I read a lot of books), I was hooked from the first page and have enjoyed reading it several times since.
Fantastic holiday read (as were several others that I bought to take on holiday with me but couldnt wait and read them before we left - ooops!)
Well worth the money, and if I could bear to be parted from some of my books I guess that I could make enough money for another holiday, but.......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2015
A novel detailing a wife betrayed by philandering spouse of 20 odd years. Sounds cliched but actually a realistic portrayal of each party's emotions and actions as the relationships break down and decisions are made. A tragicomedy, well written, holding interest o every page. A cautionary tale. Be careful what you wish for. For anyone who's been a similar victim o
f adultery, this story shows the cycle from grief to coping to triumph. Uplifting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2003
I started reading patrica Scanlan's books while still living in the UK. I moved to Australia 3 years ago and still have to have any new books she publish as soon as they come out. she is a great writer and FRANCESCA'S PARTY is as good as all Ms Scanlan's other books. She grips you right from the start and its another one like promises promises where there is not a gap to put down the book, you just cant leave the story. The problem I find with Patricia's books is that they just don't last long enough and its so long between publishings.
well done again Patricia. keep them coming.
I just have one more thing to say to everyone who is a fan, DONT MISS FRANCESCA'S PARTY.
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