First book of the year! I am a devoted Marian Keyes fan, so I was a bit bummed when I heard from reliable sources that this newest book was “…not her best.” I decided to give it a go anyway. And while I did enjoy it, I do have a lot of criticisms about it. It definitely was not her best and not on par with any of the novels about the Walsh sisters or other recent titles.
The premise (with many spoilers): a woman contracts a rare neurological disease that has her paralyzed and only able to blink. She is in the hospital for months. When she eventually gets out she enjoys notoriety from a book published of the wise things she said (blinked out, one letter at a time) while paralyzed. In the present day quite a bit of time has passed since then and everything seems to have fallen to pieces, but you’re not exactly sure how or why.
My criticisms: Her family and friends were the most loathsome people ever and she put up with it and I felt it was never appropriately addressed. Being trapped in her body was really interesting and the foundation for the whole story, but it seemed to get short shrift. I found it odd that in the present people weren’t referring to it. Also, to go back to the loathsome people. Her husband and son telling her that getting sick was her fault and she shouldn’t have done it because it inconvenienced them? I mean, honestly, they were horrible pieces of garbage. Ryan (husband) and her kids were so awful they were beyond caricature. I also thought the structure of the book didn’t work with the two timelines (usually something I love, but here it was used very well.) The ending was also a rather hasty and tidy wrap up.
Overall, I enjoyed page to page witticisms (and that a character was named Mannix) but this lacked the emotional depth that her previous stories enjoyed.