Recommendations: Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes is one of those writers that can capture ordinary moments in life and turn them into something special.  Funny, witty, sarcastic yet also sombre and poignant, she is not afraid to draw on her own darker personal history to give her books that something extra.

So what do you do when you have read everything she’s written and looking for more?  Along with Marian, here are some of my favourite reigning queens of ‘chicklit’.

Jill Mansell

A funny, amazing storyteller who reminds me that while life can be difficult and painful, there are always moments of hilarity and joy that can make the day seem so much brighter.  Lighter of heart than Marian Keyes but just as good.

Jenny Colgan

I find Jenny Colgan’s books the lightest in mood from all the authors on this list, but she shares Marian Keyes’ knack for writing and capturing characters that feel so real and funny or sad.  She combines that with stories that keep you engaged and reading right until the end.

Katie Fforde

It’s a pleasure reading Katie Fforde’s work, it’s full of life, love and those moments where you just have to stop and take a good long hard laugh at yourself.  Light in tone but gets you in the heart when you least expect it.  Highly recommended.

Fiona Walker

Another excellent author who can look at life and take both the good and the bad and turn them into funny, powerful and heart-warming stories.  A great match for everyone in this post.


If you have any other authors or books you feel would be enjoyed by people who loved Marian Keyes, feel free to comment on this article with your recommendations.

This Charming Man

Four women, all linked by the love of one man – politician Paddy de Courcy.  His current girlfriend Lola hears on the news he is marrying someone else, Grace is both a journalist and an ex and wants to get the scoop on the engagement.  Grace’s sister Marnie remembers the first love she experienced with Paddy, and still feels the loss.  Then there is Alicia, the fiancee.  A dark secret links them together and as Grace searches for the truth to Paddy de Courcy, old wounds are reopened and brought to light.

I love Marian Keyes’ work.  It’s usually funny, touching and emotional and This Charming Man is no different in that respect.  What it also has which makes it outstanding is a much darker side to the story and at times was very difficult to read because of it.  The story flows well and the little flashback segments interjected throughout create concern and confusion which deepens as the plot unfolds.  You can’t help but love Lola, Grace and Marnie and empathise with them greatly.  The character of Alicia concerned me a little as I ended up not caring about her very much and I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.  I finished the book with a powerful sense of relief and while it was on the dark side, how it all turned out was very good.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

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
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

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
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

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
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

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
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)