This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Lola Daly has just found out that her boyfriend – gorgeous, charming and powerful politician Paddy de Courcy – is getting married. To someone else. Heartbroken, Lola flees Dublin to a cottage in the countryside. Can a new set of friends help her to get over him? Journalist Grace Gildee wants the inside story on Paddy de Courcy’s engagement. Lola refuses to talk the press but Grace won’t give up. She knew Paddy a long time ago and hasn’t forgotten him …Marnie Hunter is Grace’s twin sister. With a loving husband and two gorgeous daughters, Marnie seems to have it all. But she’s haunted by memories. Memories that began with her first love – Paddy de Courcy. Can Marnie leave the past behind once and for all and move on with her life? Alicia Thornton is Paddy’s wife-to-be. Determined to be the perfect wife, Alicia would do anything for her fiance. But does she know the real Paddy? Four women. One man. And a secret that binds them all.
I didn’t know what to expect from this book, however, I really enjoyed it. The novel follows four ladies as they struggle through life facing hardships such as break-ups, depression, alcoholism and domestic abuse. All linked to Paddy de Courcy, we see how he has effected their lives – and how they deal with that. I’ll start this review with my criticism:
– I found Marnie’s character tough to bear. A depressive alcoholic – yet I found her whinging too much – although, that is probably a sign that her character was written accurately
– There were many issues mentioned in the book, which meant not all of them were dealt with in a satisfying way, such as cancer, smoking and death.
They are my only complaints. The rest of the book I adored. I liked how different characters had different ways of telling the story, such as Lola using diary form. The issues Keyes did tackle in depth were done expertly. I felt the issues of domestic abuse, alcoholism and identity were brave topics to write about, and all were explored and resolved satisfactorily. I enjoyed how the story unfolded – with the flashes back and the odd memory to make you wonder where the narrative was going. There were twists and turns, and the way Keyes wrote made me guess and assume wrongly, create false ideas about characters and generally be surprised at the revelation! I found myself getting emotionally involved and willing the best outcome.
There were a lot of characters in the book, however I felt I had a grasp on all of them. I loved Bid best. A lot of her lines had me laughing out loud.
I only had a couple of problems with this book and none were drastic enough to ruin the book for me.