Top critical review
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A reasonable read
on 16 March 2011
This book is the fourth of this author's that I've read, and while it's an OK read, I found it disappointing compared to the others.
The book is basically about a family living in a Dublin suburb - not exactly two point two children and half a dog, but two teenagers plus a grandfather and his live-in lover. It opens very well and the scene is quickly set - here we have a slightly unconventional but happy family - happy, that is, until we take a closer look. There are some serious reasons for concern, but it's by no means all doom and gloom.
The central theme of anorexia is dealt with very well and the book benefits from the kind of humour so typical of its author. But the characters aren't as real as in her other books. They're interesting enough - there's zany Charlie, lively Sarah, thoughtful Ali and superwoman Ava, but somehow they seem contrived, and the same goes for the various side plots. I also thought that the way Sally's relationship problems were resolved at the end of the novel was just silly and completely irritating and unbelievable.
I'd still recommend it, though.