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6 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Syb
A suprising book that is not typical chick lit, focusing on family relationships and hidden secrets that the characters can't share. Emma and Ali and there relationship was so well written the reader begins to feel like a third sister watching the chaos unfold and just keeps everything crossed hoping it all ends well.
Published on 6 Dec 2011 by Book-Shelf

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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Close for Comfort
I enjoy reading light heated books on the train whilst going to work. As far as I can remember this is my firs Claire Dowling book. There are so many authors writing this style of book who are Irish and based in Dublin. This book is not the best of this genre. I enjoyed the book until the ending which I thought lacked any sense of climax. It sorted petered out...
Published 10 months ago by Helen Green


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Syb, 6 Dec 2011
By 
This review is from: Too Close For Comfort (Paperback)
A suprising book that is not typical chick lit, focusing on family relationships and hidden secrets that the characters can't share. Emma and Ali and there relationship was so well written the reader begins to feel like a third sister watching the chaos unfold and just keeps everything crossed hoping it all ends well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK, 26 Feb 2011
This review is from: Too Close For Comfort (Hardcover)
Ali and her 3 children escape America in the middle of the night, without telling her husband and descend on her sister Emma, who works as a producer on a TV morning breakfast show, Emma doesn't like children and doesn't like mess, so doesn't really want them there.
Emma learns that Ali and her husband Kyle are getting a divorce; also Emma and her Fiancé Ryan have split up but why?
Ali finds it hard with her 15 year old son Jack and also her credit cards are stopped, the kids are homesick.
Emma finds it hard them staying with her and admits he misses Ryan.
Do Ali and the kids stay in Ireland or is she forced to return to Texas?
A brilliant book, I have read several of Clare Dowling's books, although I did not think I would like it as one chapter is about Ali then it moves on to Emma, I would definitely recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Close for Comfort, 2 Nov 2013
This review is from: Too Close For Comfort (Paperback)
I enjoy reading light heated books on the train whilst going to work. As far as I can remember this is my firs Claire Dowling book. There are so many authors writing this style of book who are Irish and based in Dublin. This book is not the best of this genre. I enjoyed the book until the ending which I thought lacked any sense of climax. It sorted petered out towards the end.

It was good that this book addressed topics such as HIV, depression and marital difficulties which are not usually discussed in this style of book. If the ending had been more momentous I would have thought the book equalled the best of this style but as it is it was mediocre.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep this close to hand!, 28 Nov 2011
By 
Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Too Close For Comfort (Paperback)
I haven't read any of Clare Dowling's books for a while, although I have enjoyed reading them in the past. When I received a copy of her latest book, Too Close For Comfort, to review I was really pleased because I was interested to see how Dowling has progressed in her career, and if I'd enjoy this book as much as her previous reads. I have to say I am not too sure about the cover myself, it's quite bland and nothing really stands out, but then again there are far, far worse out there and it does look quite fresh, although as I said I think it's main issue is that it just won't really stand out or grab you from a bookshelf in a shop... well in my opinion anyway. Either way, the story inside was really enjoyable, and I'm pleased to say that I think Dowling is as strong an author as ever!

The book follows 2 sisters, Ali and Emma, who it has to be said aren't entirely close. Ali went to America when she was younger for a short stint and ended up staying, getting married and having 3 children. Ali seemingly didn't care about the feelings of her family and friends, yet when her marriage crumbles, she comes running back home for their support, surprised when they all carry on as normal when she arrives. I have to say I really struggled to warm to Ali as a character, and found her to be quite selfish. As a mum myself, I couldn't just run away with my son to another country, yet Ali seems to think it is okay to do just that, and not care about the consequences. I found this to be really wrong, and I liked how her sister Emma was playing devil's advocate a bit and telling her how wrong she was.

Emma was a great character, and very well written. She's a bit of a workaholic, loving her job on breakfast television and trying to keep the ratings up despite some pretty dire presenters. However, she's going through a bit of a personal turmoil too, something she doesn't want to admit to anyone, even her sister and this really does play on her mind. I did find that I liked her and felt so sorry for her because of everything she is going through and I think that Dowling did a really good job in writing this particular story. It's written really well and very realistically, without becoming too over-powering in the book, instead just bubbling gently in the background. It's not an easy subject to write about, let alone weave into this book but Dowling does so effortlessly, and I think it was so well done and all credit to her for that.

Although I really didn't like Ali, I have to say I enjoyed the story and the way everything panned out as the book progressed. Ali doesn't find life in Ireland to be as easy and happy as she thought it was going to be, what with her sister Emma being a bit off with her, her mother struggling to deal with her ailing father and also her estranged American husband on her tail, yet it was very easy to read and I found myself easily slipping back into it whenever I picked up a copy of the book. Dowling writes beautifully about Ireland, and the best parts of the book have to be at the TV show where Emma works, it was simply hilarious and had a good few comedy moments in there too. Dowling manages to weave the lighter-hearted moments in with the more serious stories, and I really did enjoy every page. You might not agree with Ali and her choices in life, much like I didn't, but you'll still enjoy reading about what happens next for her!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get yourself Closer to this, 28 Nov 2011
By 
Leah Graham (Tenerife) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Too Close For Comfort (Paperback)
Most Chick Lit novels, it's fair to say, are focused more on romance/love/happy ever after than anything else (which is why I read it). However, sometimes I just want to read a Chick Lit novel where friendships are the most important part, or a tale about sisters, warring sisters or happy sisters, whatever. Friday Night With The Girls by Shari Low was an excellent novel on friendship and Too Close For Comfort is another excellent novel that's not focused on the love aspect. Instead, Too Close For Comfort is about two sisters, Ali and Emma. Ali and Emma haven't lived on the same side of the world for 17 years after Ali upped and left Ireland for greener, American pastures, but after an incident, she's back in Ireland, with her kids in tow and is crashing with Emma, who herself is reeling from her own secrets. I found it interesting how the two found themselves thrown back together again, and I liked how their relationship wasn't perfect but that their sisterly bond was still there.

I thoroughly enjoyed Too Close For Comfort, the novel is different to normal Chick Lit novels and although I found Emma's secret and subsequent plot to be a bit... out of bounds for a Chick Lit novel, it was still a really good read. I don't want to speak of what it is Emma's keeping secret, because it does come as a surprise, but for me, it's not that it was in bad taste, it really wasn't, it just wasn't my cup of tea. It is indeed something that can happen in real life, but I prefer my Chick Lit without it although it was a massive, massive shock! It definitely had that "wow" factor. What Ali does is a little more normal, if you will, and I was interested in learning more as to why Ali fled her life in the USA (I certainly wouldn't trade USA for Ireland, just saying - if I ever get in there, I ain't leaving, so take that as a warning US officials!) and I wasn't disappointed with Ali's side of the novel, either. It was massively absorbing.

Clare Dowling is on top form with her new novel. It's fast-paced (I was racing through the pages) and I found the look we got into Emma's job as a TV producer to be really enjoyable (I loved the banter between Patrick and Alannah). I thought the parts about the girls' parents was touching, as their Mam (yes! A "mam" in Chick Lit, not "mum"; I'm a Geordie, we use "Mam", too) looks after their Dad after multiple heart attacks. It toed the line between amusing (which sounds bad, but it isn't - it's light-hearted as their Mam gets ratty about things) and touching and I felt it was very well written. Too Close For Comfort was such a good read and the sisterhood between Ali and Emma was really nice to read and it was all around just a really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can't wait for Clare's next book!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tortuous, 4 Jan 2012
By 
Jackie (Warwick - UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Too Close For Comfort (Paperback)
This is my first Clare Dowling book and probably my last. I am 150 pages in and so far it has just rambled on, going nowhere of any interest and my attention is beginning to wain. I don't think I can even bear going on anymore. Sorry - HUGE thumbs down from me.
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Too Close For Comfort by Clare Dowling
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