Strengths: Some interesting characters, a different idea for a chick lit book.
Weaknesses: Some characters are a bit clichéd, alternately serious and comical.
Why I read it: Enjoyed the author’s other books.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
If you liked this, try: Saving Grace by Ciara Geraghty
I’ve enjoyed previous books by Ciara Geraghty (Saving Grace and Becoming Scarlett) – they are chick lit books, but so much more – clever characterisation, innovative twists and heart-wrenching crises. So you could say that I was really, really looking forward to this book. I eagerly pounced on this book as soon as I saw it in store and began to read shortly after.
Like the author’s other books, it focuses on a young Irish single girl with a quirky family. Meet Dara, she works at a dog shelter, cares little for fashion beyond tracksuits and has an occasional ‘understanding’ with the married Ian. Behind Dara, lies her family – the quirky Mrs Flood (yes, she’s nearly always referred to as Mrs Flood) and her sister Angel. Angel has end stage renal disease and requires a kidney transplant. Dara and Mrs Flood don’t match – but could Mr Flood, who disappeared down the street shortly before Dara was born never to be seen again, be a match? Throw in a private detective with a family full of policemen, even quirkier friends and a range of coincidences and you’ve got a rollicking ride.
You could say that this sounds a little more sombre that Geraghty’s previous novels and in a way you’d be right, as Angel’s plight is always in the background and a focus for a lot of the book – finding Mr Flood. However, it is dealt with sensitivity and humour in just the right places. Geraghty also gets the renal stuff correct too – she’s obviously done her research (I hate medical inaccuracies in books). It is interesting and the ending is both sad and happy. The book takes a while to get going (there’s far too much about dogs in this book for my taste) but the last half is much faster paced.
The characters, while quirky and endearing, might be starting to come off as somewhat clichéd in comparison to her other books – Mrs Flood for example is a caricature for most of the book, while Angel is somewhat of a ghost (but perhaps this is meant to be so?). Tintin is endearing as the crazy male friend, but is in danger of becoming a parody of himself. Ian Harte, is well written, as is Mr Flood’s relatives.
In short, I enjoyed this book but not quite as much as Becoming Scarlett. It is though, a great light read and I do recommend it!