After seeing Marian Keyes on a panel on Extra Slice (the Great British Bake Off extra show), I found her hilarious and really wanted to read something by her. A few days later this book was delivered from Penguin/Michael Joseph. I was sent this book for review and as usual, it in no way changes my opinion but I was so happy to receive it and started it almost straight away (after finishing other things first).
Stella Sweeney is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband Ryan and their two teenage kids in Dublin. She works with – or really for – her terrifyingly ambitious sister Karen in their beauty salon. Nothing to get excited about here. Nothing to make her particularly unhappy. Or happy…
No-one would be interested in stealing her life. But then things started to happen… One day, Stella, attempting a good deed, causes a little car accident and faces down a bad tempered, handsome stranger. She hardly gives it much of a thought. But karma is hovering, and is about to take over, swoop in and change Stella’s life for ever. For better or worse.
Suddenly Stella has a life. A thrilling glamorous one. A life that other people might start to covet…
Considering how long this book is at 534 pages, I absolutely flew through it in no time. The writing is witty and fast-paced and the perspectives given really propel you through the story. Throughout, the novel is told from Stella’s point of view but you see her in the past as well as in the present time. This built up the mystery surrounding her bout of illness, her relationships and her book really well and makes you want to read on to find out what happened.
I would say that although this book would be suitable for Young Adult readers, there are some sex scenes and although they fit in with the story well, I think some readers may find that uncomfortable.
I really enjoyed this book overall and it has definitely made me want to pick up something else by this author, but there are a few things preventing me from giving it the full 5/5 stars. The ending seemed very rushed and a little too neat in many ways and there were some slow moments at points, however I enjoyed the characters (in a love/hate kind of way) and the humour was really well done.
If you’re looking for a fun contemporary read then I would give this one a go. It’s realistic and heartwarming, cringe-worthy at points and utterly hilarious at others. This took me completely by surprise and I would recommend it!
3 out of 5 stars!