books, Chick lit, new releases, reviews

Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life

I have a strange relationship with Marian Keyes books.  As a person, I love her on Twitter and I could watch her all day on Strictly It Takes Two or Bake Off Extra Slice.  But when it comes to her books, and when I read them, I enjoy them but there are some times I pick one up and just don’t fancy it.  I don’t know if it’s because as well as the humour she deals with Serious Issues – and I’m not always in the market for Proper Problems with my chick lit.*  She is massively, massively popular though – and I know this is a book which is going to be on a lot of Christmas lists this year.

The Woman Who Stole My Life is about Stella Sweeney – who tries to do a good deed and ends up a car crash, the fall out from which will change her life.  The novel jumps backwards and forwards between the now – and various points in the past which explain how she got there.

Now once again, this summary seems short and cryptic, but I’m trying hard not to give too much away because I really enjoyed not knowing all the twists and turns. I will admit that I sometimes found it hard to keep track of when we where we were in the story on occasions – but that may have been down to the formatting in the proof e-copy that I was lucky enough to receive.

One thing that I really wanted to mention was how much I love the title.  Who is the Woman Who Stole My Life ?  I’ve tried writing a sentence to explain what I mean six times – and each time it’s given away too much of the plot.  But trust me when I say when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean.

I think that this may be my favourite of Marian Keyes’ novels.  I like Stella – her voice reminds me of the tone that you get from Marian’s Twitter feed (@MarianKeyes if you don’t already follow her).  I occasionally wanted to give Stella a bit of a talking to, but most of the time I was totally rooting for her as she bounced back from a life-changing experience and tried to figure out what she wanted in life with the assistance (or otherwise) of her family and friends.

And having enjoyed this so much – despite there being some serious issues in there – it’s inspired me to go back and read some of the Keyes backlist that I’ve missed out on.  In fact I think that there may be a Walsh Family book in my library book bag waiting to be read.  Serendipity indeed.

The Woman Who Stole My Life feels like a winter book, something you can curl up on the sofa with and eat Jaffa cakes like there’s no tomorrow – just like Stella does although I give you fair warning that if you do, you may end up in “lady chinos” – just like Stella!

My copy came from Netgalley in return for an honest review, but I’m expecting The Woman Who Stole My Life to be front and centre on the displays and promotions in all the major shops, but if you want to buy online here are some links – for kindle, at Foyles, it’s on my shelves at My Independent Bookshop – where it’ll give some money to one of my local indies or you can buy it through Hive and give money to one of your local indies.

*As the regular reader will be aware, my aversion to Bad Things leads me towards the romance novels and cozy crime and away from Literary Fiction and Prize Winning books.

Book News, books

Upcoming Excitement

Now seemed like a really good chance to mention a few books that I’m really excited to read over the next few months.  And also if I tell you that I’m going to read them over the next few months, then I might actually manage to do it!

Firstly, out this week just finishing, Laurie Graham’s The Grand Duchess of Nowhere.  I love Laurie Graham’s books – as I may have mentioned before, Gone with The Windsors is one of my all time favourites, so I’m always excited to read something new from her.  Grand Duchess has just come out in hardback, so it may well go on my Christmas book list if I don’t manage to resist snapping it up before then!

Coming out in November is the latest book from Marian Keyes.   I’m expecting The Woman Who Stole My Life to be one of the big books this Christmas and I’m excited to see what Marian has come up with this time.  She’s one of my favourite authors on Twitter (so funny) and her books are always the right balance of funny, sad and thought provoking.

Also on my watchlist is Mhairi McFarlane’s It’s Not Me, It’s You – which is out the same day as the Marian Keyes.  The blurb for this is totally up my street – a quest for the heroine’s real self with dodgy jobs, weird bosses and handsome journalists. Sounds perfect and I’m really looking forward to it.

Now there are a whole bunch of other books that are coming out soon that I’m hoping to read too – but they’re all themed around a major festival that happens in December and I refuse to start talking about that this early.  Having worked in a shop through sixth form and university I have developed an aversion to the countdown to that particular event starting too early.  But rest assured, I will be posting about books suitable for reading at that time of year in enough time for you to get them on your gift lists or to stock up for reading in front of roaring fires whilst you eat seasonally appropriate food stuffs.  Just not in early October. I can’t do it.