The Other Side of the Story

Jojo, Gemma and Lily are three very different women who are linked together through love, life and publishing. Gemma and Lily used to be best friends until Lily stole Anton from Gemma. Then Lily has the audacity to have a book published which was also Gemma’s dream. Jojo is the literary agent who works with both of them and has her own problems with love. Sleeping with the boss is definately not the best way to get ahead in publishing.

I think it’s the characters that make this book the funny, touching story it is. The plot is fairly negligible and predictable but with three very strong female characters, it almost has to be that way. You switch between loving and hating each girl as they go through their individual tales, but overall it is a very humerous look at the publishing industry. The book is in sections as the focus switches between characters, and it’s interesting to see shared events from different perspectives. I enjoyed it a lot.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
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Angels

Maggie Walsh is the safe, sane, dependable and potentially boring member of the Walsh family. She shocks everyone when she leaves her husband and escapes to LA to visit her best friend Emily. Is it a voyage of discovery or has she taken leave of her senses and will she ever find them again?

I think Angels is very cleverly written. At the start you feel Maggie is a fairly selfish individual who has become bored with married life and is seeking some kind of thrill. The truth is very far from it and as the story unfolds, you find out more of what was going on and the reasons behind why she had to leave. It’s poignant at times, very funny at others and as with the rest of the Walsh books, the family interactions are hysterical. I didn’t want to put it down and I was quite sad when I came to the end, but I was definately not unhappy with the way it turned out. Very enjoyable!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
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Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married

Lucy Sullivan visits a psychic and is told she will be getting married within 18 months. As the predictions for her friends seem to come true, she half believes her own and ends up looking at all new men as prospective husbands. Could it really be the feckless and irresponsible Gus?

The main problem I had with this book, is I never really clicked with the main character. I love Marian Keyes’ work and I really wanted to enjoy it, but Lucy just plain irritated me. All the aspects for a good book are there, the pace was fine and the plot was good but perhaps the subject matter of alcoholism is a little too close to home for me right now. I never considered not finishing it and I was pleased with the way it turned out, but I didn’t put it down with that warm glowy feeling of having been engaged and entertained.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
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Watermelon

Clare has the joy of having just given birth and the shock of her husband leaving her for another woman. She decides to go home to Ireland to her dysfunctional but funny family and try and sort her life out.

This book has everything I’ve come to expect from Marian Keyes. It’s hilarious in parts, sad in others and a fantastic read. I didn’t want to put it down. The pace of the story was good and it’s told from Clare’s perspective with a very funny inner monologue running through it. I highly recommend it!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
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Nadia Knows Best

Nadia Kinsella gets stranded in the snowy Cotswolds with the attractive Jay Tiernan. She already has the perfect boyfriend and avoids temptation by thinking of Laurie, who she doesn’t get to see much due to modelling contracts. Her dysfunctional but loving family drive her nuts but wouldn’t change them for anything, even when trouble is coming and secrets are revealed.

I have been reading Jill Mansell’s books for years and have never come across a bad one. They are always funny, touching, endearing and very human. I do feel however,  Nadia Knows Best is one of the weaker ones, a couple of the characters are a little larger than life and very irritating, but it is still an enjoyable book. I first read it several years ago and as with all of Jill Mansell’s books is on my permanent re-read list.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jill Mansell
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Highland Fling

Jenny Porter is a Virtual Assistant, asked by her client to go to Scotland and see if she could find out why a mill he had a stake in, was failing. Her less than supportive boyfriend Henry thinks she is too softhearted and impulsive to do the job and she is determined to prove him wrong. Agreeing to help out at a roadside cafe probably wasn’t a good start and finding herself lending a hand to everyone at Dalmain House didn’t help either. Deciding she wanted to save the mill from closure, in spite of what her client wanted might have been a bit much but then Henry arrives. Should she tuck her tail between her legs and return home or stick to her guns and do what she set out to achieve, and could the abrasive but attractive Ross Grant have something to do with that?

This book was a bit of a disappointment after enjoying Artistic Licence so much. The character of Jenny was well written and I liked her, but everyone else seemed a bit drab and irritating. She ends up doing so much for everyone else, it felt a bit exhausting and given the interplay between her and Ross, the ending of the book seemed a bit improbable. It was entertaining and I certainly wanted to finish it to see how everything turned out but to me it was an OK read rather than a good one.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Katie Fforde
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Artistic Licence

Thea Orville, one time professional photographer, now fed-up landlady to art students is persuaded to accompany a friend on an art appreciation holiday. While there she meets a charming artist and when almost home, decides to throw wind in the face of caution and escapes to Ireland to visit him. Realising she needs a new direction in life, Rory gives her the perfect opportunity and when her nosy friend turns up on his doorstep with some equally unwelcome guests, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. Now if she can just realise her plans while learning to saying NO! to Molly, Rory and Petal, and deny her attraction to the enigmatic Ben, things might just work out…

I find it hard to put Katie Fforde’s books down, they are lighthearted, funny, romantic with wonderful escapism, and Artistic Licence is yet another great read. The only disappointing thing, is that I finish them too soon! This book took me about five hours to read, and just like her other books, left me with a warm glow, and the feeling of having been thoroughly entertained.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Katie Fforde
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)