Abby Barton's TV career is taking off and now she and her husband can have the life they've always dreamed of in a lovely Irish town -- at least, in theory! But when your husband takes you for granted and your teenage daughter hates you, an adoring old flame can spell danger to your seemingly perfect life. Fortunately, Abby has her friends to keep her sane. For starters, her best friend, Sally, owns a beauty salon, and Sally and her husband throw fantastic parties, where there are still more friends to be made.
Just be sure to share.
Sally's friend Lizzie makes time for everybody: her gal pals, her grown children, even her ex-husband. But when her ex finds someone new, Lizzie can't help but wonder if she'll ever love again. The women are all thrilled to meet Erin, who has moved home to Ireland from Chicago for her husband's new job. But is she cut out for small-town life, and what of the family she left behind years ago? Together and on their own, these four women are about to face highs and lows they never anticipated. Only from each other can they learn that life is for the living and that they need to grab it with both hands....
New love, old love, tragedy and skydiving hijinks abound in this ensemble paean to female friendship, a U.K. bestseller from veteran Irish author Kelly (Someone Like You). In lovely Dunmore, Ireland, Abby Barton, the middle-aged star of the surprise hit TV show Declutter, aims to make a better life for her husband, Tom, and shy teenage daughter, Jess, but when an old love resurfaces, she risks throwing it all away. Salon owner Sally Richardson has a wonderful husband and wonderful sons--and then she learns she's got breast cancer. Blissfully married and newly pregnant, Erin Kennedy moves back to Ireland from Chicago; she hasn't been there since she discovered that her mother was actually her grandmother. And Lizzie Shanahan, divorced mother of two, is nearly bankrupting herself by planning the wedding of a lifetime for her self-involved, manipulative daughter, Debra. Kelly should have confined herself to Abby's and Erin's stories: the glimpse of a family struggling in infidelity's wake is heartfelt and moving, and Erin's fear of facing her abandoned family is beautifully drawn. But additional, unnecessary plot lines stuff an overlong book, and paper-thin, unbelievable secondary characters slow the pace (learning of Sally's death, Debra panics that now her mother's nails won't look as nice as her future mother-in-law's). But fans of Marian Keyes will savor this satisfying testament to the power of friendship and romance to soften life's blows and bolster its joys.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 31, 2005
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