Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somebody that I used to know, 3 July 2012
This review is from: Separate Lives (Paperback)
This novel begins with quite a simple premise; middle class mum Susie finds a mysterious text on her partner's phone, telling him to 'Start living a different kind of life'. Signed with a P, a smiley and 3 kisses, Susie knows it's from a woman. But she has no idea who P is....

The story is told from 3 separate points of view; Susie's, her long term partner Alex's and Pippa - the mysterious P. (Thanks for the whole multiple P. O. V. thing, Jodi Picoult. I find myself yearning to read books with chapter numbers at their heading, as opposed to a character's name!) As the story unfolds, it's clear that each of the main characters are far from blameless for the whole mess they find themselves in. Susie is slightly dithery and distracted. She seems to be utterly blind as to what is happening in her own marriage and takes a lot for granted; that her husband is an alpha male, that the disintegration of their relationship is mainly his doing. Alex, her husband is sulky, impetuous and regularly throws his toys out of the pram, so to speak. Pippa is rather meddling and manipulative and seems to be rather blase about interfering in other people's lives. As relationships unravel, it is obvious that nobody is who they thought they were.

I did really enjoy this novel - a slightly more grown-up version of the usual chick-lit. But I must confess, that I did not particularly like Susie, Alex, or Pippa. I also found it rather difficult to identify with them. The characters all dwell in the fabled land of 'comfortably well off', whether due to legacies or high flying (but barely touched on)careers. I found myself at times wanting to yell at Alex and Susie to just talk to each other!

In my opinion, as a first novel, Separate Lives shows great promise. I am looking forward to Kathryn Flett's next, in which I hope to meet someone I like and someone who has real financial worries!
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