Sometimes I still read chick-lit.
There are a few authors that have the power to pull me in and Marian Keyes is one of them. Which is why I begged the Harper Collins First Look site to send me a copy of her latest book , This Charming Man, which will be released in the US in June.
This Charming Man is the story of Paddy de Courcy, a handsome young Irish politician, and four women whose lives he has affected. The book deals with some serious issues, as Keyes' books often do, and Keyes injects some suspense as well by not always letting the reader know exactly what is happening or who it is happening to.
The story is told from the four women's points of view and this is where I had a little trouble with this book. One of the women is Lola and the first 75 pages of the book begins her story. It is written in diary form, in a sort of stream of consciousness way, not always using complete sentences or proper grammar. This made it difficult for me to become engaged in this book and I worried that if the entire book was written this way I wouldn't be able to finish it. Happily, the other character's parts were written more traditionally and I did become absorbed in this book and couldn't put it down for the second half. This book was in turns funny, sad, frightening, and loving. While it wasn't my favorite book by Keyes, if you can get past the first part I think it's an enjoyable read.
Update on EPL
My book club discussed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love last Thursday. We had six members at our meeting for what was one of our more memorable discussions. One member didn't even finish the book - she said she wasn't interested in it and felt bored by it. Three members (myself included) felt that they enjoyed the writing and the author's sense of humor but had a lot of issues with the subject matter. Two members said they liked the book overall. Both of these women still had issues with the material, one being bothered by all the talk of the 'Brazilian lover' and wishing Gilbert had remained celibate. The other woman seemed to enjoy the book the most and I asked her a lot of questions about that. She said she didn't particularly like Gilbert or feel as though they would be friends - I've read a lot of these comments from people who have enjoyed the book. She said she could see that a lot of people in our society are looking to find happiness and while Gilbert's solution is rather extreme, that people could use this as the impetus to make changes in their own lives in order to find greater satisfaction. She thought that while some people might think helping others through volunteering could be beneficial she could see that helping yourself first might be necessary.
The best part of reading EPL for me has been discussing it both online and with my book club so for that reason I'm glad I read it and was able to participate in the discussion of this popular and polarizing book.