Author: Marian Keyes

Well… this book had me slightly confused, I have read so many good reviews about it and as a consequence, I was really excited to read it, I don’t know exactly what I was waiting for but this novel, unfortunately, was not entirely for me.

The story narrates the lives of the Casey family. Three brothers, their wives, and their children. They are a dysfunctional family where each of their members have their own problems. From bulimia to signs of depression, each character deals with a heavy burden that most likely are carrying in secret and smiling to the outside world.

The phycology of each personality was the most interesting thing in the book. Where the author describes in detail the thought process and nature of each character which provides perspective to understand each of them. Mental health, insecurities, and eating disorders are the focus of the story as it continues to unravel. However, there are a lot of characters and I was unable to engage or connect with any of them.

For me, there was no excitement around the story and even though each line of the story for every family member connected to one another and push the overall narrative together there was no clear plot. I felt reading the same story from different perspectives didn’t help, so at one point it was like reading in slow motion… if that’s possible?    

The light of hope for me was the story of two asylum seekers, Perla and her daughter Kassandra, in Dublin. Such a passionate and important topic that seemed to be developing within the story, only to disappear rapidly in the background as there was already too much going on.

The ending felt a bit rushed for me, I think after so much building up and detail I was expecting that it would make it all worth it, but it didn’t. All the situations so extensively explained before seemed to solve themselves out and the author only mentioned one couple’s happy ending, which was predictable.   

Sadly, this is my first review were not all my comments are positive. Marian is an excellent writer and that makes the book easier to read, but in my opinion the book got a bit too long (656 pages) where the story is a bit slow, so you really feel the length of the narration. It felt like a never-ending story of a family I didn’t necessarily relate to.   

I really don’t know what else to say here… as so many people seem to love this book and story, it might still be worth giving it a chance if you have enjoyed reading the author before.