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Stand By Me Paperback – 14 Apr 2011
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'A spectacular read' (Heat)
'An evocative and entertaining story' (Irish Post)
Dominique and Brendan - a glamorous couple everyone envies. Until Brendan disappears without trace and Dominique finds out the truth about their luxurious lifestyle... A gripping and utterly satisfying novel from the No. 1 bestselling author of IF YOU WERE ME and ISOBEL'S WEDDING.See all Product description
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The official synopsis for Stand By Me makes mention of Dominique's husband Brendan disappearing. However, that doesn't actually happen until well into the book - so far into the book that I was actually quite surprised when it eventually happened. The book is more about Dominique and Brendan's story as a couple. The book begins with a Prologue set at some point in the future, before taking us all the way back to 19-year-old Dominique when she first meets Brendan. Things move quickly between the pair and Dominique falls pregnant and then we follow their story as they marry, as Dominique has her daughter Kelly, and the years pass slowly but surely until we reach the present day. It was a surprising way for the story to be told - after all, I was expecting to jump right into the present day and for Brendan to disappear but it's not like that at all. Sheila builds the story from the beginning and tells it as it's meant to be told. Thinking about it, building up the story like that really worked as far as I'm concerned. Instead of just throwing us into the deep end without getting to know the characters, Sheila took us right to how it all began so we could learn the history of the characters and have an affinity with them.
Sheila O'Flanagan really excells at telling stories and I just got lost in the book while I was reading it. From beginning to end, I was fully interested in the story and the characters and that never diminished. My only problem, really, was the way everyone stood by Brendan after he returned. That really bugged me, because he didn't deserve it. I also think there should have been an epilogue to round everything off. Just to see how everyone had moved on, and to see who had managed to stay together and how their lives had been generally after everything that had happened. Apart from that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it's the perfect read to curl up with as Autumn and Winter close in.
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