Monday, 1 October 2012

Book Review - This Charming Man

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Released 5th March 2009
Paperback 912 pages
Publisher Penguin
Rating 4/5
Source Borrowed


Lola has just found out that her boyfriend - charismatic politician Paddy de Courcy - is getting married. To someone else. Heartbroken, Lola flees the city for a cottage by the sea. But will Lola's retreat prove as idyllic as she hopes?

Journalist Grace wants the inside story on Paddy de Courcy's engagement and thinks Lola holds the key to it. Grace knew Paddy a long time ago. But why can't she forget him?

Grace's sister, Marnie, might have the answer but she also has issues with the past. Her loving loving husband and beautiful daughters are wonderful, but they can't take away memories of her first love: a certain Paddy de Courcy. What will it take for Marnie to be able to move on?

Alicia Thornton is Paddy's wife-to-be. Determined to be the perfect wife, Alicia would do anything for her fiancé. But does she know the real Paddy?

Four very different women. One awfully charming man. And the dark secret that binds them all...

My thoughts...
Marian Keyes is one of best selling female authors and is the person who inspired me to write. I heard her say once "Everyone has it in them to write a least one novel." However, in all these years I had never got around to reading any of her books until a friend let me borrow This Charming Man. 

Given her reputation I expected a classic 'chick lit' story, and I am pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed.

The story focuses around four very different women and their relationships with Paddy de Courcy. Lola, Grace, Marnie and Alicia have all been captured by politician Paddy's charm, only to be tossed aside when he got bored leaving them all scarred and tormented. For each of the women, Marian took on a different writing style, if that is the right way to put it. You could instantly tell which character was currently narrating the story by the way in which it was being written. 

So many different authors tell a story from different character angles, but very few will change the writing style so dramatically. For me, this is a skill that so few have and one that really made this book work.

I will admit, that I did struggle to get into the book at the beginning. I can't quite put my finger on why, it could just have been me, but once I sat down and concentrated I literally couldn't put it down. 

The story has so many twists and turns, that it is impossible to even attempt a guess at how it will end. Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that even I had it completely wrong as at one point I likened Paddy to Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades trilogy. With his obvious sex appeal, charming mannerisms and interest in kinky sex, how could you not link them? As the story develops there is more to Paddy than meets the eye and I will guarantee that you will be left shocked, and thats without even mentioning the "trannies"!

If you are looking for a page turning chick lit book, then this is for you. I am so pleased that I have been introduced to Marian Keyes and I cannot wait to read more of her books, from what I can see, I have missed a lot.

Until next time, keep reading x

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