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Stop the Clock Paperback – 16 Aug 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (16 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552778184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552778183
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 355,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A lovely absorbing read, so evocative of student life. Alison Mercer really captures the passion of falling in love for the first time." (Alice Peterson on After I Left You)

"Alison Mercer has expertly spun an engrossing story about love, secrets and second chances." (Tamar Cohen, author of The Mistress's Revenge)

"Effortlessly readable and sharply realistic, this is grown-up chick-lit at its very best." (Closer)

"Funny and moving, this is a fab debut from Alison Mercer." (new!)

"Mercer has a satirical eye which she puts to good effect in describing such cornerstones of middle-class life as private antenatal classes and bitchy newspaper columnists. A funny, promising debut." (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A sharp, amusing and brilliantly observed novel about women’s lives and friendships, this is a fantastic debut from a talent who’s one to watch.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Three friends, Lucy, Tina and Natalie have been close for years, and one New Years Eve share their life plans with each other - their hopes, dreams and ambitions for the future, and hope that they will all get exactly what they want and need. Fast forward ten years, and things are very different from how they were a decade ago, but have each of the women got what they crave? Lucy craves stability and a happy home and family life, Tina wants success in her career and to be an independent woman and Natalie just wants to meet Mr Right and settle down and live a happy life with the one she loves. Will any of the women have got their happy ever after ending?

I really liked the way this book was written. Mercer makes sure to divide the story equally between the three women, and weaves them together in such a way that they stand alone as their own stories, but at the same time relies on the friendship of the women to bring it all back together again and be a cohesive story. We meet the women when they are in their twenties, and all hopeful for what life has ahead of them. When we meet them later, things have greatly changed in different ways, and so has the women's friendship too, a fact which felt realistic as of course no matter how close we are at one point in our lives, things change as we all move in our lives in different directions, and this part of the book felt extremely well put together.

I liked each of the characters for different reasons, and the strength each of them found to overcome the various obstacles within their stories - I'm not going to reveal a lot about what happens to them because I think it's more fun to read about the things happening as you go through the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alison Mercer's debut novel is my favourite kind of first book: fun and fast paced, with heart (and, as is rarely the case, soul). Set between London and Cornwall, it's a highly relatable tale of female friendship and by the end most readers will wonder; "which one am I?".

I finished reading it with a smile, a tear and a strong desire to move back to the South coast. Having had the pleasure of meeting the author, it also inspired me to pick up a pen and start writing again. Modern life is incredibly busy but we should all allow ourselves the time to pursue our dreams whether that's having 2.4 children and a rich husband, the best and most demanding job in the world or a writing desk by a sunny window.

At 27, I think I'm probably a little younger than the target demographic but I still found the characterisation to be incredibly true-to-life. Following hot on the heels of dedicated career women 10-20 years our seniors I find that most young women I know have done a 180 degree turn and aspire to be stay-at-home mothers and have children before 30. I often question this trend and hope nobody minds if I'm a bit selfish and keep my husband to myself for more than one year. Torn between wanting to "have it all" or revealing a secret desire to either work full-time forever or give up work completely at the first sign of a positive pregnancy test, I think most of my peers would enjoy this too. It may not change their lives, but it should make them stop to think and maybe even wish to stop the clock themselves.

If this review tempts you I recommend ordering two copies: one for yourself, and one for everyone who asks to borrow it!
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Format: Paperback
Stop the Clock begins with a prologue. It's New Year's Eve 1999 and we find out about Lucy, Tina and Natalie's dreams/ambitions.

Ten years later it's Spring 2009. We begin with Lucy, who is meeting Tina and Natalie and feeling faded and worried that she's not as glamorous as her two friends. It is Tina's column on The Post that causes friction and Lucy returns home sooner than planned. At home she finds something that turns her world upside down.

Next we spend time with Natalie. She's off to antenatal class to meet Richard (the boyfriend in the blurb who is now her husband). Later on in the story, it is someone at these classes whose actions cause a life changing evaluation to be made.

Finally we spend time with Tina. We learn about her career, her colleagues and her love life.

In alternating chapters we spend time with each character as they confront hidden fears and live their lives. It's not until our characters are together at New Year's Eve ten years later that they finally confide in each other and share what's really happening to them.

The characters are stereotypical and the narration of third person enables the reader to identify with each character when they are apart and when they are together. My favourite has to be Tina. Although Lucy and Natalie have their own demons to confront and each grow and learn to live in the world as who they are, Tina is the one who I felt was the most honest with herself.

We witness some traumatic scenes as we journey through their lives. Natalie's birth experience and Tina's immediate decision and change of mind spring to mind. Their own parents play a part too not only in the time of their lives now but also the role models they were in childhood.
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