I want to start by saying how gorgeous the cover is. It is truly beautiful and eye-catching, and I even heard two ladies discussing the `pretty cover' in ASDA last week!
Tish fell in love with Fergal when she was younger. He was her first love, however he broke her heart, as she wanted a husband, and he wanted a life of rock and roll, of fame and of fortune. Now married to James, she believes she has everything she wants in a husband - he is handsome, dependable and he is also great father material. Having recently purchased a cottage in the country where Tish can work as a romance writer, it seems to be the life she has dreamed of. But James seems to be changing, spending more time at the pub and losing interest in things. And then Fergal suddenly arrives in the village, stirring things up, and causing Tish to wonder if Fergal was actually the man for her?
The characters were great - I especially liked Tish. As most of the book is written from her point of view we gain an insight into Tish, her personality, her thoughts and her feelings. One thing I particularly liked about Tish was that she was honest, and so many times I found myself smiling and laughing at the things she said or did. I thought Fergal was BRILLIANTLY written too, he made the book for me.
The setting was lovely, I liked that the book was set in the countryside, and it made the novel more enjoyable as Trisha managed to capture the atmosphere of the village and the people who live there.
Trisha Ashley has written a wonderful book that kept me guessing, and I'm sure this will be the same with other readers. I had no idea how the story was going to pan out, what would happen between Tish and Fergal, if anything, and what would happen with James too! Good Husband Material is a delightful book with some humorous moments, romance and all set in a beautiful little village. It is a light, easy read so make sure you buy a copy!
on 22 April 2013
I have enjoyed all Trisha Ashley's books and this one was no exception. I find her witty style of writing hard to put down and can't wait for the next one. I would recommend it to anybody who is not looking for anything heavy and enjoys a bit of a giggle.
on 1 July 2014
So we have the strong, independent woman; we have the dark, sexy guy who seems dangerous and unreliable until ....., we have the handsome, popular guy who seems totally suitable and steadfast until ......, the embarrassing mother, the small gossipy community, hell, we even have the stately pile that our hero just happens to own. Sound familiar? We were only missing a gaggle of sisters and lecherous pastor to have the lot. But whereas 'Pride and Prejudice' is certainly one of the greatest romantic novels ever written, I'm afraid 'Good Husband Material' is not. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, and Trisha is not the first and won't be the last to take inspiration from Austen's classic, but it just didn't grab me. In fact my main problem with 'Good Husband Material' is that while P&P starts with a bang, with possibly the best opening line of any chic-lit novel, I found the first half of this book just a little, well, dull. However it did pick up and by the end I was quite happy to romp along with them all to their, entirely predictable, conclusion.The best character, by far, was Granny who could have had a much bigger part for my mind - she was cool!
I wouldn't be entirely put off Trisha's books again based on this one, but I don't know I would rush to buy another either.
If you have enjoyed 'Good Husband Material' but have not read 'Pride & Prejudice' I urge you to do so - you won't be disappointed.
on 9 April 2013
First of all, a confession. This is the first Trisha Ashley novel I have ever read! Sorry, Trisha! I own several of her books and they are all sitting waiting patiently on my to-be-read pile, and have been for months or even years. It's nothing personal against Trisha or her writing...I just buy too many books and can't get round to reading them all fast enough! So, given that I already possessed at least four other novels by this author, what on earth made me start to read Good Husband Material the minute I saw it in the shop? Well, I loved the cover for a start, and the title intrigued me. Good husband material? Hmm, would love to know what that is! I read the blurb on the back cover and just knew I had to read this, and having finished it this evening I had to post a review because, yes, it really is a five star novel.
I just adored everything about this. The writing was fantastic. The narrative style was so appealing and so easy to read. I loved the fact that the story was mostly told from the first person viewpoint of Tish, our heroine, a redhead in denial. She is a marvellous creation and I was rooting for her all the way. Fergal is a gorgeous hero (of course!) and his viewpoint is cleverly woven in through a series of headlines in local and national magazines and newspapers as he muses on the difference between the way he is perceived in the media and the reality of his life and feelings.
The secondary characters were a wonderful assortment that held my interest. A batty grandmother, a pathetic mother, jealous women, a wily shopkeeper, weird neighbours...Even the animals were fascinating, featuring a Borzoi (or bourgeois bitch) called Bess, a rude parrot called Toby, a deformed cat and assorted offspring and hangers-on. Tish's husband, the man her mother had decided long ago was "good husband material", is a character who slowly shows himself to be the opposite of what Tish initially believes him to be. As the book develops we see layer upon layer of James unpeeling to reveal a distinctly unattractive and rather weak man.
The setting itself was lovely, with the village really coming to life under Trisha's skilful writing. It may come as no surprise to discover where Tish ends up and who with, but the thrill is the journey she takes to get to that point. The narration is witty and sharp and there is some sparkling dialogue, which all goes to ensure that the book never flags and keeps you reading right to the end to find out how Tish will get her happy ending in spite of all the obstacles thrown at her.
I am so glad I read this book and very pleased that I have several more of Trisha's novels ready and waiting to read. They have been bumped up on my waiting list and I'm very much looking forward to them. I understand that this is a reprint of a novel previously published some thirteen years ago, but I didn't consider it to be dated, although, as a previous reviewer mentioned, the lack of mobile phones, internet etc is quite startling, if only to remind us how much things have changed in such a short period of time. Some things, however, never change, and love, thank goodness, is one of those things. So, if you want a well-written, sparkling love story with extremely believable and likeable characters and a lovely setting, buy this book! Great reading material.
on 4 April 2003
Trisha Ashley has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I first read The Urge to Jump - liked it well enough to want to read more. Then I found Every Woman for Herself (you must read it, too!) and fell in love. Good Husband Material just reinforces what a terrific writer Ashley is! It's so hard to describe what makes her writing special - it's that element of whimsy that permeates. The books are never out-and-out farce, but there's always a magical quality to the storyline. The women are never scatty or dim, but they're certainly not your "woman-on-a-mission-get-out-of-her-way". It's the little things that are funny - in this book, our heroine Tish (NOT "Trisha") doesn't see herself as a redhead, but everyone else does and there are several funny references to that. There are two completely opposite, yet equally ridiculous, party scenes. The idea that Tish and Fergal both view themselves as creative "vampires", unknowingly drawing inspiration from each other for their creativity. (You wonder if Fergal's career will go downhill once he's happy!) The dialog is so funny - you do laugh out loud and want to keep reading right through until the end. In a wonderful turn the book also allows you to get inside the head of Fergal, the One Who Got Away, very early on. In fact, the book opens with his recounting the story of how Tish and Fergal first met when he was 22 and she was 17. The chapters are then broken up by brief snippets in his voice, a critical element to the story. Good Husband Material is a grown up fairy tale and reads like one. That's not to say that it's totally improbable, Ashley writes a convincing tale - you can believe that Fergal truly never stopped loving Tish and vice versa. She is so adept at the character development - James (the Good Husband) is so very funny (in a pathetic way) and certainly gets exactly what he deserves in the end. As does Tish, Fergal, and everyone - including the dog! Definitely a keeper!
You always remember your first love they say. And Tish is no different, she remembers the dark and enigmatic Fergal who was an artist with a paintbrush and with music but he went off to seek fame and fortune and left Tish behind. How could he? Well it appears there were other forces at work regarding the love of the impetuous youth.
Some years later, everyone has moved on Tish is now happily married to James and Fergal is now a distant memory. But with some expectation you know that Tish's life is now going to turn upside down. The marriage to James seems to suddenly start developing cracks, quite large gaping ones, as Tish persuades him to move to the countryside and a cottage so she can live the life she has dreamed of whilst trying to maintain her novelist status. James merely thinks she is playing at all this and needs domesticity i.e. waiting on him hand and foot to be complete. Tish has other ideas and James also has other ideas on how husbands should behave. I hated James with a passion - in fact whatever happened to him he rightly deserved. Trisha Ashley wrote him perfectly!
And then if it was not difficult enough for Tish. Fergal appears back. In fact Fergal buys the house which backs onto Tish and James cottage garden. Now there is going to be trouble for Tish wherever she tries to seek solace.
This is a novel which has so much packed into it and I felt for Tish from the very first moment. How she did not collapse with the strain of everything that was happening to her was a mystery. But women in Trisha Ashley novels are strong and you know it will be alright in the end but you are never quite sure if the right you want is the right that Trisha will give us. Only one way to find out - keep reading.
on 9 October 2014
I deliberated how many stars to give this for a while. Compared to the other Trisha Ashley books I've read (which is most of them), this was 2 stars, but, compared to other books out there, it's 3...
I usually fly through her books without realising how long they are, because her writing style is so easy to read and she is so good at characterisation that you really care about what happens to the people in the story. I suppose it shows how much she has improved over the years, as this is actually one of her earlier books reissued and both of these traits are sadly lacking - it was a real struggle to finish. In fact, if this was the first book of hers that I'd read, it might well have been the last.
The main female character is prissy, boring and hypocritical (acting like you didn't cheat on your husband doesn't mean it didn't happen) and the plot was thin. The twist frankly strained credulity to breaking point (spoiler alert, though it was obvious what was going to happen from about the third chapter) - there is no way her due date would have been wrong by a month. Even if she couldn't work it out, her first ultrasound scan would have easily put her right.
I hope there is a new full length TA book on its way soon...
Tish fell for the rock star Fergal when they were both young, but their relationship ended badly and she wanted a man who would make a good husband - enter James. Now Tish and James are married and they are moving to the country to live that idyllic life that they dreamed of. But James seems to be changing; maybe he is not as interested in the country life as Tish thought ? Tish's career as a romance writer is just taking off but James seems to be ashamed of her and to want her to be more like a housekeeper. Tish feels that maybe she has never been herself in this marriage and that maybe she has never known who James is at all. And now Fergal is back ......
This novel follows the familiar pattern of many romance novels, including a few by this author, and the end is predictable from the beginning but it is exceedingly well done with lively and interesting characters and a busy plot. Tish is a sensible woman but prone to ignoring the obvious which is why James' behaviour comes as a surprise to her and why her narration is a pleasure to read. James is a completely rotten husband with a veneer of civility with Fergal being exactly the opposite as a stereotype womanising rock star with a loyal heart. There are a couple of eccentric country characters, a unique granny and a disappointing mother hiding a secret about Tish's past. Tish behaves badly but James behaves even more badly and everything is settled by the end. I did think that the end was too rushed and I would have liked a bit more time with the new family.
Overall this is a near perfect light romance, designed to be read with chocolate and wine. It is witty and amusing and the plot will keep you hooked to the end (even though you know what is going to happen). I understand that it is a rerelease of an out of print novel but it never seemed dated to me. Highly recommended.
What a joy! An early Trisha Ashley first published in 2000 now reissued.
You could say that the plot was not new - young lovers break up, find new lives and meet again. You could probably predict the outcome with a fair degree of accuracy, but the journey there is such a delight that you enjoy every minute.
You could say that the characters came from the stock cupboard - titian haired heroine, boorish husband, romantic pop star, fussy mother, feisty granny. It's what Trisha Ashley does with them that makes the difference. Tish, the heroine/narrator is completely her own person, preoccupied with cleanliness and healthy living; Fergal, the pop star former lover, much more down to earth than the usual stereotype; James, the boorish husband, still able to attract youthful blondes on all sides; they all stray from the stereotype to become individuals.
I was disappointed by Trisha Ashley's last novel because I felt it was tired and running out of steam. This one has all the vigour, fun and liveliness of the best of her books. I hope her next novels return to this standard. I enjoyed it hugely.
on 9 April 2013
I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) most of Trisha Ashley's books but Good Husband Material has to be the best yet. One guesses virtually from the earliest pages where her heroine, Tish, will end up but , my goodness, what a bumpy, hilarious and circuitous route she takes to get there! She is a lovely character, a practical dreamer, and her final love is worthy of her, being gorgeous. The peripheral characters provide a lot of the comedy, her elderly neighbour, the local shopkeeper, her gardener, her mother and grandmother all being characters in their own right and the villain of the piece (guess who?) deserves anyone's boos. One word of warning - be careful reading this book on public transport, helpless giggles get one a lot of funny looks.