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Better Together Paperback – 11 Apr 2013
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'O'Flanagan's latest offering deserves its place on the bestseller list - it entertains, surprises and provokes' ( Irish Independent )
'A good summer read' ( Heat )
Sheridan Gray has discovered a secret. Sharing it would get her career back on track. But it would also hurt those she loves... A fabulously addictive novel from the bestselling author of THE MISSING WIFE and IF YOU WERE ME.See all Product description
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As usual, O'Flanagan has produced a very realistic, easy to read story that draws you in and makes you care about the people involved in the trials and tribulations of the book. Sheridan is a very easy to love main character, easy going, hard-working and just wants to succeed. I felt very sorry for her regarding the relationship she has with her parents, to feel you are always second best isn't nice and O'Flanagan puts across Sheridan's feelings very well. Nina was more difficult to warm to - she's clearly struggling with what to do about her marriage, and I thought she seemed to be a bit of a doormat to Sean, always letting him take charge when things should have been made her decision. In this respect, she's the very opposite of Sheridan and I think that's why these leading ladies worked so well together in the book, and their friendship soon blossomed.
I really enjoyed the mystery element to the book regarding a story Sheridan is chasing about the owner of the small town newspaper she now works for. We have no idea what is going on for the most of it, and I liked that O'Flanagan managed to keep that mystery element going on throughout the book, bringing in various characters to add different elements to it, and it made it an enjoyable read. I also like how she struggled with whether to write about Nina's story or not, it added a human side to the journalist in Sheridan, and it made her all the more likeable! O'Flanagan writes the small town of Ardbawn very well, and it's easy to imagine the lovely guesthouse Nina owns, the few shops in town where Sheridan goes, and the other locations mentioned in the book. O'Flanagan always writes passionately about Ireland, and this comes across so well on the pages of the book.
Overall, this was another great reader from Sheila O'Flanagan, and people who love her books will definitely love this one. I found the ending happened really quickly for me, things got wrapped up quite quickly and I was surprised by the speed at which O'Flanagan brought it all to an end. O'Flanagan copes well with the emotional problems of both women in the book, dealing with Nina's grief and despair with sensitivity, yet also showing the reader exactly how she is feeling, and also putting across Sheridan's exasperation and need to better herself all the time. I really enjoyed the book, and it was an easy read that I could lose myself in for a couple of days and finished it smiling. A lovely, well written and enjoyable read from one of Ireland's best authors. Recommended!
Maybe I have just read too many by the same author but I think the last two books have had weak storylines & by the end of each I felt that very little had happened.
I struggled to finish "Better Together" as there was nothing about it to engage the reader & I ended up thinking I had wasted time as even the conclusion was unsatisfactory.
I will not automatically pick up the next offering by this author as I want to enjoy what I read rather than feel compelled to finish a book in which nothing happens!
This latest books synopsis sounded very interesting and is based around two women. Sheridan Gray is a journalist who manages to lose her job, her home and her boyfriend in a matter of days. The other main character is Nina, who is dealing with the fallout from her separation from her actor husband Sean; following the national press revealing he was having an affair with a co-star. Nina runs a Guesthouse in Ardbawn and this is co-incidentally where Sheridan ends up.
Sheridan was an easy woman to like and to read about. Nina was a little harder going as we see her struggle to keep things going. When the two women meet things get a little more interesting. The thing I noticed about this latest book is that straight away I was drawn into Ardbawn, and I really liked the characters that make up his pretty village. When Nina stays at the Guesthouse, she uncovers what she thinks could be an explosive story guaranteed to get her back at one of the national papers. Unfortunately it surrounds Nina and Sheridan has to make some tough decisions.
The story was certainly interesting and had a mystery element to it which I enjoyed. I warmed to Nina a lot more as the story went on, almost as much as I gained loathing for the husband Sean. As I was nearing the end of the book I realised that we still weren't at the conclusion. To my surprise the last 3 or so chapters managed to wrap up everything and left me feeling a little disappointed. I really enjoyed the story but thought that the ending seemed so quick and almost rushed. It certainly didn't ruin the book for me but made me knock off a star. Overall another great summer read from Sheila O'Flanagan, it seems she never fails to disappoint!
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