Marian Keyes is the author of ten bestselling novels and two essay collections. She lives in Ireland with her husband and their two imaginary dogs.
Claire Webster, heroine of this breezy Irish bestseller, thinks hubby James is the man of her dreams until he ditches her for an older woman (Claire herself is 29) two hours after their daughter is born. Mother and child repair to Dublin, where there's hope of solace and sustenance in the bosom of an eccentric family, while Claire downsizes from watermelon to wisp and struggles over the hurdles of blues and booze. When she attracts a handsome young lover and considers dumping the suddenly repentant James, it's clear a happy ending's in sight. Or is it? There are a few surprises and plenty of sassy girltalk in this slick if sometimes silly take on what it's like to be female. Much of the hilarity generated by Claire's funky family‘airhead sisters who squabble over clothes and men, a mother who'd rather watch soap operas than cook, a father perpetually bewildered by the women in his life‘wears thin, but readers will identify with Claire's flaws, applaud her irreverent wit and rejoice at her triumphant recovery. Like the fruit it's named for, this overlong novel is short on nutrition but long on refreshment. (June)
Claire Webster's got it all-a perfect marriage to a handsome husband who provides well and now a darling baby girl-until the morning after she gives birth, when her husband, James, informs her that he's having an affair with their downstairs neighbor and deserts her and his child. Claire flies back to Dublin and the dubious security of her wacky family to sort out her life. A too-handsome hunk of younger man named Adam-whose motives in pursuing her must be suspect, mustn't they?-enlivens this story of survival in the face of crushing blows to one's self-esteem. Hilarious interior monolog, with Claire's refereeing the warring segments of her obstreperous psyche, puts this first novel on the Gen-X "must-read" list. It will appeal to mainstream, women's fiction, and romance fans, too. Highly recommended.‘Jo Manning, Univ. of Miami Lib., Coral Gables, FL