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Separate Lives by [Flett, Kathryn]
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Separate Lives Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Length: 401 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"Fresh, intriguing and insightful, Kathryn Flett's compulsive, zeitgeisty plot and perfectly imperfect characters instantly captured me in their complicated web. More please!" "Claire Irvin, novelist and editor of "She"""

"Seriously gripping book about... Funny, sad and always sharp." "Daisy Goodwin""

"I loved this book because, unusually for a lot of fiction, I had no idea where it was going to go. "Separate Lives" is an adult book in the best way--full of complicated characters who behave like people you might actually know. I raced through it." "Jojo Moyes""

"Funny enough to make you laugh, honest enough to make you think." "Jenny Eclair""

Book Description

The smartest and most stylish work of commercial fiction since Allison Pearson's debut, I Don't Know How She Does It.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 762 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (5 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780871864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780871868
  • ASIN: B007C4FX9K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,686 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Kathryn Flett's writing and read her memoir, "A Heart Shaped Bullet".

I bought this book as I'm not a fan of chick-lit and I didn't think that Kathryn Flett would write in this genre.

I'm sorry to say but this book is really not very good. I don't want to give too much away but the email written between the male characters in this book are truly cringe-worthy. Faux blokey bonhomie. I really do not know any men who correspond in such awful clichés. The awful clichés and puns continue through the book with "arch" re-naming of the estate agent, for example. I think this kind of thing needs to be left to Jilly Cooper - who's actually good at that style of writing.

The plot is quite unconvincing and the last 100 or so pages become more unbelievable. It's as though the writer has started the book without considering a plot line. Got two thirds of the way through and then decided that she has to finish. With no idea what to do, resorts to some pretty unbelievable situations to wrap it up.

None of the characters are particularly easy to like but, to be fair, perhaps that is intentional.

I think it says a lot when the recommendations on the front include one from Gok Wan. Presumably publishers have to pick from the best that they receive? I have nothing against Gok Wan. However, he is not renowned for his mastery of English Literature. Further, I think the writer and Gok appeared on a television programme together - so perhaps hardly independent. Same goes for the Observer, whom I think the writer used to write for.

If you like average chick lit, then you'll probably enjoy this. But don't bother if your looking for something outside that genre
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Format: Kindle Edition
When it comes to 'chick lit' I am a self confessed closer-reader. However I was genuinely interested in the plot of this novel. It certainly makes a change from the usual single-woman-has-a-crush-on-man or Bridget Jones style cliche. I really wanted to enjoy this book. It presents viewpoints of the husband, the wife and the 'other woman'. It doesn't set out to glamorise affairs or over-dramatise every twist and turn of the plot (some of it believable, some of it too much coincidence).

Despite the solid ideas and challenging scenarios, the characters are the biggest disappointment. Central to any story (in my opinion at least) is the ability to engage with the character. Not necessarily to find something likeable or common with them (though identification to characters in the chick lit genre certainly helps), but to at least feel like they are living in your world. Not so in this case. In fact it seems that more and more novels are centred around middle or upper class worlds where losing your job does not mean you end up on job seekers or even frantically search for money to pay the bills. The only tying even more annoying than their lack of regard for budgeting is the constant, infuriating references to designer labels, brand names in general...is the author paid commission Egbert time she mentions Vivienne-sodding-Westwood? These constant name-drops bloat the paragraphs unnecessarily. I have an imagination; I don't really need to imagine the exact brand if clothing Susie wears, or where she gets her coffee from.

So that's about it. It seems that in novels like these you must be middle class to afford a lifestyle of affairs and alternative modern relationshipsrelationships. Women with potential talent, tackling controversial issues could do so much more if they would leave their middle England lifestyles and Jimmy Choos at the door.
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Format: Paperback
This isn't the sort of novel I usually like: a cast of wealthy Londoners in advertising or publishing, sports agents or ex-models...supposedly people "just like you" talking about designer labels, the housing market and private schools. (Main themes: family, divorce, children, clothes, dinner parties, and lots of adultery.) It's told from the three points of view of each of the characters in a love triangle, none of them particularly sympathetic. Everyone in this book cheats on someone.
But it soon becomes very compelling. The plot depends massively on wild coincidences, and yet in the smallest moments it seems honest and true. It's also engaging, written in a chatty readable style. Not unlike stumbling onto someone's diary entries. It vividly portrays the horror of a relationship under pressure and finding your partner changing before your eyes.
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Format: Paperback
Susie and Alex have been together for 10 years, have two children and a comfortable life. But one day Susie snoops on Alex's phone and finds a message that seems to indicate he's seeing someone else. Once the boulder of that knowledge has started its journey downhill there can be no stopping it and no-one will be left untouched.

I generally enjoy Kathryn Flett's magazine and newspaper columns, so was pleased to receive a copy of Separate Lives to review. I have to say at the outset that there was a lot I didn't like about the book, but despite quite a long list of dislikes I would say I found it worth reading and would recommend it to others.

I'm not sure whether this novel can be categorised as Chick Lit as it seems to consider an older group of characters than usual for that genre, and Chick Lit tends to have more of a "Reader, I married him" vibe about it. Separate Lives shows what can happen a decade on from the Chick Lit happy ending and looks at an older group of characters, so perhaps it's Hen Lit or Old Broiler Lit? Anyway, although the novel is funny at times, particularly when Susie is narrating, it's by no means a light-hearted romantic romp - quite the opposite in fact.

It's a very middle-class, Notting Hill creatives type novel - none of the characters have any money worries thank you very much, even when redundancy strikes, and though we know some of them have jobs, we don't hear much about what they do on a daily basis to earn their wage other than the absolute basics. The time they don't have to devote to worrying about money or their careers seems to be spent in infidelity. There are very few characters in the book who aren't unfaithful to someone at some point - the major characters all are.
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