Sunday, April 23, 2006

#32 - Anybody Out There

For anyone actually keeping track, there are spoilers below, so if you don't want to know what happens in Anybody Out There? Marian Keyes's latest novel, don't read this mini-review.

Okay, with that out of the way, I finished Marian Keyes massively huge latest novel (it's 592 pages, feck, I know the type is huge, but come on), in record time. Yes, it's chicklit, so it's easy to read, but I think too because her books have become so predictable to me (I've read so many of them) that I kind of hoovered through it instead of savouring the book, like I did with the other novel I read this weekend.

The novel continues the story of the Walsh clan, now with Anna, the second youngest daughter, who is home in Ireland after something traumatic happening to her. Um yeah, the trauma? [Here's the spoiler part] Is a car accident that kills Anna's fresh husband Aidan, and leaves her scared, injured and a 33-year-old widow. But we don't find that out until we're well on the way of being two hundred pages into the novel. Of course, I'm saying to myself, "Oh, she's been in an accident and her husband is dead, which is why no one's a) talking about him or b) slagging him off because he's not there with her, helping her recover."

But on the whole, it's kind of annoying, not knowing. I mean, I understand that Keyes is trying to capture the shock of it all; the veritable other world Anna lives in until halfway through the book when she fully comprehends the fact that her lovely husband is dead. But to some extent, I also felt strung along, like "just tell me what happened already." You know?

There's a lot in this novel to like if you like Keyes; it's very much more of the same, the same cute prose, the same cute storyline, but there's a lot that doesn't need to be in here (did I mention it's almost 600 pages?), like her sister Helen's crazy private investigator subplot, and sometimes, the chicklit-ness of it all kind of got to me (I know, I'm asking for it, aren't I). However, it was a band widow weekend, so it was a very appropriate book. Yet, after reading and loving Pride and Prejudice so much, and taking a look at all of the very worthy and huge books I have on my shelf, I might take a break from chicklit for a while.

And then again, it's summer, and what's better for summer than a sweet, pink book about romance and happy endings?

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