Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review - Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes

Lucy doesn't even have a boyfriend. (To be honest, she isn't that lucky in love.) But Mrs. Nolan-a local psychic-has read her tarot cards and predicted that Lucy will be walking down the aisle within the year.

Lucy's roommates, Karen and Charlotte, are appalled at the news. If Lucy leaves it could disrupt their wonderful lifestyle of eating take-out, drinking too much wine, bringing men home and never vacuuming. They might even have to-God forbid-clean up the apartment to lure in a new roommate. Lucy reassures them that she's far too busy arguing with her mother and taking care of her irresponsible father to get married.

And there's the small matter of no boyfriend. But then Lucy meets Gus, gorgeous, unreliable Gus. And she starts to wonder if he could be the future Mr. Lucy Sullivan. Or could it be handsome Chuck? Or Daniel, the world's biggest flirt? Or even cute Jed, the new boy at work?

Maybe the idea of Lucy Sullivan getting married isn't so unlikely, after all.

Review: Delicious. I can't think of any other word to use other than delicious.

Before this book, I would have declared myself a hardcore chick-lit fan. I can rattle of a list of writers from both the US and the UK. I can take pictures of my shelves showing rows and rows of chick-lit novels. I can preach to you about how I love the way Megan Crane speaks to women my age, the way Jennifer Crusie speaks to women my size, the way Jill Mansell makes me dream of the UK and all it has to offer. I was convinced I knew chick-lit inside and out.

Ha. Silly me. Enter Marian Keyes.

I had just finished Keyes' Sushi for Beginners and, while it mildly entertained me, it left me...well, for lack of a better word, bored. After sharing this with one of my LitSnit ladies, Erin, she recommended Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, stating that it was her favorite Keyes' book. I almost turned it down but at the last-minute snatched it because I needed a book for the train.

From the first page Marian Keyes creates a world and cast of characters that you want to hold and never let go. Each character is complete, from the few appearances of a video rental clerk to Ms. Lucy Sullivan herself, with their own particular idiosyncrasies and stories. The author's commitment to this cast and this world is so great that from page one your eyes are STUCK. There are no pages you want to skip. There is no part you struggle to get through. There's no desire to put it down.

I will admit...there are chick-lit novels that will skim the surface and focus on a life that seems to consist of nothing but shopping, romance and glamour with no actual problems or conflicts. What Keyes' creates in this genre, is ART. While many moments of hilarity exist, this book is grounded in reality showing a great deal of emotional depth. Lucy is not your typical heroine. Sure, she is addicted to men who treat her wrong (who hasn't been at one time? ...don't answer that), has a love for clothes and a desire to party a great deal BUT Lucy also has an alcoholic father, a somewhat broken relationship with her mother and extremely low self-esteem. What I love about this book is that Marian Keyes attacks both sides equally leaving no stone left unturned.

I have read this book three times in the last two weeks. I have sat here for an entire week trying to figure out how to express how much I loved this book. From Lucy's romances to her roommates and coworkers, I have laughed out loud on the train, at home, at the park. Every time, it has been a wonderful ride.

Am I ridiculously gushing? Maybe. Am I serious? YES.

Lit Snit Verdict: A

Janelle's next book selection is Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.


  1. I'm so glad you liked it! This is definitely one of my favorite chick lit books ever. It's not particularly ground breaking (though by now it's a bit old so maybe it was when it was first published), but I just love Lucy, and especially Daniel so much. This is one of those books I can read over and over again.

    I remember enjoying Rachel's Holiday more than Keyes other books (all of which were okay, but not fantastic) so if you're looking for more chick lit you should try that one!

  2. WOW I love MK, this might not be a favorite of mine but it's a great book (have you read Watermelon?).
    I love your blog, I am a twenty something and I really enjoy chick lit but lately I have been struggling to find good books that fall into this category.

  3. I know what you mean about struggling to find good chick lit. It seemed everywhere a few years ago and now finding anything quality is hard. I think a lot of publishers have jumped on the YA or supernatural (read: vampire) bandwagon and that's become really popular. You can find a lot of good chick-lit-type stories in YA books that are really smart and funny.

  4. I couldn't agree more with what you just said, there are some brilliant chick-lit type novels in YA and this is the main reason why I turned to this genre.
    Unluckily I couldn't care less for Vampires and those days it seems that all authors must write about them (I am currently reading "Insatiable" by Meg Cabot)....I will be checking your blog for good recommendations :)
    The best chick lit I read in the last six months it's probably "If Andy Warhol had a girlfriend" by Alison Pace

  5. I also agree. Finding good, quality chick-lit is hard these days. Anyone have recommendations for YA? Right now my current YA favorite is Sarah Dessen but I'm definitely open to other suggestions...

    I've been seeing "If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend" a lot lately. I look forward to picking it up!

  6. The Sky Is Everywhere! I lent that to you, right? Perfect chick lit/YA crossover. (You're probably not going to love it as much as I did because I'm gushing about it every two seconds and creating insane expectations)

    Libba Bray writes good YA. Maureen Johnson writes fun stuff too. Older Meg Cabot YA is really good. I haven't loved her newer stuff but it's still fun.

    I liked Finishing Touches by Hester Browne but that's more Brit Chick Lit like Keyes.

  7. I MUST read "The Sky is everywhere" I keep reading good things about this book.

    Swoonworthy ya books:

    I recommend "Jellicoe Road" by Melina Marchetta (one of the best ya book I ever read), "Perfect Chemistry" by Simone Elkeles , the "Diary of a Crush" trilogy by Sarra Manning (british ya), "The last summer of me and you" by Ann Brashares

  8. [...] Megan Crane, Publishers, Sophie Kinsella | by Erin A conversation in the comments of Janelle’s review of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married got me thinking: is chick lit [...]