Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mad About: Marian Keyes (Week #1--This Charming Man)

 One of the reasons I've become mad about Marian Keyes is that she has the ability to take the most serious of issues & turn it into a story infused with a great deal of humor and warmth, i.e. Rachel's Holiday & Anybody Out There (both of which I'll tackle this month!). I enjoy laughing (and, I'll admit, a sniffle here and there) during these tales yet still walking away from them with something to think about...

Not so much with <-- this one.

The first week of Marian's Madness doesn't exactly start off on a high note with This Charming Man--
  • Issue: Domestic Abuse
  • Main Character: From perspective from of four women--- 1) Lola--a stylist; 2)Grace-- a journalist; 3) Marnie-- Grace's alcoholic sister, 4) Alicia--the fiancee of Paddy de Courcy, the center of this story.
Hands down, this book is the darkest of all of Keyes' fiction works. She takes no steps to tread lightly and, while the humor can be found here and there, is isn't prevalent. The love interests here aren't the main issue. The issue is how these women are changed by their experience with domestic abuse.

It's not my favorite Marian Keyes' book. Not at all. Lola's language is short & choppy, also written in the style of text message; this goes for everyone with whom she interacts. It's a bit difficult and slightly annoying as the book focuses a great deal on Lola's point of view.  I believe it serves Keyes' purpose because it does make Lola seem a bit flighty, making her the perfect foil to Grace, who is an ambitious journalist interested in nothing more than getting her story.

Marnie's plight is somewhat frightening. Her experience with de Courcy has fueled her alcoholism and her addicition is scary, to the point of blacking out and waking up beaten up and injured. Her journey is a tough one to read. Oh, and Paddy de Courcy? UGLY. I don't think there's a better way to describe this man. His behavior towards each woman is slowly revealed by flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter and it's gruesome.

This book was much grittier than I expected and rightfully so. Domestic abuse isn't a light-hearted issue. Keyes' tackles it well, however, while still providing us with a silver lining. This book is not the story of victims; it's the story of women finding the strength within themselves to deal with what life has handed them & for that I say well done. While I did say it's not my favorite of Marian Keyes' book, it is the most thought-provoking and I did enjoy it.

LitSnit Grade: A

Next week: A vlog (eek!) on Keyes' Walsh Family Series...

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