Marian Keyes is an author I adored in my 20s when she was among the pioneers of a new genre that was felt like it was written just for young women like me.
While I have aged a *tiny* bit since then – and chick lit has gone from strength to strength – her first work of fiction since 2014 still feels like it has been written with me in mind.
The Break has all the elements I’ve always enjoyed in her work, including a strong, yet vulnerable, heroine, moments of dark comedy, the wonderfully eccentric family who would probably drive you insane in real life and a romance that is far from smooth sailing.
Everything feels the same but also different because instead of being in their 20s, the main characters have aged along with me and are now in their 40s – and that actually made me really happy.
Here’s the blurb:
‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’
‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’
If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together.
Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia.
And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . .
However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge.
For a lot can happen in six-months.
When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?
It felt more like I was watching this book unfold than reading it because I find Marian’s style of writing so visual. It’s sad, funny, heartwarming and relatable; like a really good, must-watch, soap opera. It’s hard to remember the characters are figments of her imagination and they stuck with me long after I had finished.
Speaking of which, at about 85%, I was in a weird place where I desperately wanted to know how it ended but at the same time didn’t want to stop reading. Part of that was because the book, or rather the author, made me nostalgic for my youth but mainly it was because it’s just really really good.
I hope she has another in the works already.
My rating: It’s got to be five stars.
Thank you to Michael Joseph (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.