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A Crowded Marriage

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,333 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
There are three people in Imogen Cameron’s marriage – herself, her husband, Alex, and their son, Rufus – and that’s just the way she likes it. But that’s about to change...

When the Camerons hit dire financial straits they’re forced to leave London and accept Eleanor Latimer’s offer of a rent-free cottage on her country estate. Ordinarily, such an offer is not to be sniffed
Published September 25th 2006 by Headline Review
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(showing 1-30 of 2,469)
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Mar 20, 2015 Obsidian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF at page 201 of 468.

I picked up this and the last book I read a few months ago but never got around to reading. One of my resolutions is to get through the glossy pile of books I have not read yet on my shelves (there are a lot of them) so I started going through the pile. Frankly I want to kick myself since so far the books I bought are not that great to me.

I wish that I could get engrossed more in Imogen's story. However, from the parts I read, this character just seems to have built her h
Tania Easton
Apr 16, 2012 Tania Easton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not want it to end ...............another good read.
Debbie Viggiano
Sep 23, 2014 Debbie Viggiano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore all Catherine Alliott's books and even more so for the fact that, as a writer too (but not as successful as her!) it is so wonderful to see her also make mistakes that miss proof reading eyes.....a dog goosing in the crutch, eyes on storks, a cottage that has a dishwasher in one chapter but no dishwasher in another, a headmaster who is Mr Hunter in one sentence and Mr Harding in another.....fabulous! But it didn't matter, because Catherine Alliott weaved her magic and entertained me with ...more
Bev Taylor
Aug 09, 2014 Bev Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a fantastic light red - 600 page of large paperback

there r 3 people in imogen's marriage - her husband and son. how she likes it - but it is about to change

they hit dire financial straits and r forced to leave london and live in a rent free cottage on her country estate. in exchange for looking after a few animals - not what a city girl has much knowledge about!

what has she let herself in for? surly locals, psychotic chickens, a maddening (if handsome) headmaster, mountains of manure, visits
Rachel Brand
Apr 07, 2009 Rachel Brand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Mum
I loved this book! Why did I ever stop reading Catherine Alliott novels? Wonderful escapism. The premise of this novel is often a typical format for chick-lit novels - happily married mother believes that her husband is having an affair with his ex - but nothing is exactly as it seems. Although the main character wasn't totally likeable to begin with, and could behave rather stupidly (obviously the way to stop some chav from bullying your kid is to invite him home for dinner, according to her!) ...more
Ruth Ropper
Feb 01, 2015 Ruth Ropper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2015
I had read this book a long time ago and on re-reading it was as good as the first time. I like Catherine Alliot's sense of humour through the book which at times makes you laugh out loud! I like the vulnerability of the main character although at times I wished she would just ask the difficult question or face up to the issues. But as with all of us it is easier to give advice to someone else. Sometimes there is a process to go through before we reach a stage in life we can deal with those diff ...more
Feb 05, 2014 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its been a long time since I've last given a book a perfect score but this book thoroughly deserves it. It starts with a woman named Imogen and her husband Alex who have a son called Rufus. They live in London and across the street from her is her best friend Kate. The economy tanking is the reason why they move out into the country into a cottage where Alex's friend and ex-girlfriend Eleanor owns. The plot moves on from there but in completely unexpected ways and even though things end a little ...more
Bridget Bailey
Feb 10, 2016 Bridget Bailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by this author so I wasn't sure what to expect. This was a rather long book and quite unnecessarily so but even though it was longer than need be, it was a good story. Much happened in this book causing it to go longer than expected. I expect that it took the main character that long to come around and be good in the end. Lot so characters and many story lines that happen to converge together by the end. Never confusing although there were many characters but one main them ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Tina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't quite bring myself to rate this three stars. I liked some parts, but overall it just wasn't a very good story. It seemed like all of the married people were having affairs and it just got quite confusing after a while as to who was messing around with whom. Not a story I would recommend to others.
Becky R.
May 02, 2011 Becky R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that the story started off pretty slowly. In fact, in the first 150 pages I wondered if I'd be able to finish it. I didn't feel very connected to Eleanor, with her strangely muted relationship with her husband. Was this a cultural gap that I'd missed, or was Eleanor's relationship truly of a different sort? Her husband seemed a lot older to me, aloof, and just not engaged in marriage to begin with. He seemed as though he liked everyone else around him, but his wife, except at ran ...more
I liked this book. I really wanted to love it, but I couldn't.

I'll admit it's a quick, at times painful read, and the author manages the heroine's emotions brilliantly. However I did feel the book had several shortcomings.

The book was hilarious as it followed Imogen's struggle to adapt to country life (though I have no idea how those darn hens were trained to follow people around for food. The bloody things I had when I grew up were pretty self-sufficient, and when we gave them food, they gather
Oct 12, 2013 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I often find it is hit or miss with this author but this is most certainly a hit!
Imogen lives with her husband Alex and son Rufus in London. Her best friend Kate lives across the road from her and despite being in different social standings she couldn't imahine life without her so when Alex tells her financially they are in trouble Imogen feels bereft at the thought of moving.
Eleanor, an old friend and ex lover of Alex offers them a cottage rent free in the country on her estate . When Alex jum
Aug 06, 2012 Rosie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Reading the blurb I was quite intrigued to how the plot would last nearly 600 pages. For a lengthy book I was pleased to see there wasn't that many characters, you knew who the major ones were and the minors. I've not really heard much about Alliott's writing although I've seen many books on the shelves at book stores.

Usually books that revolve around a partner cheating annoys me as the other generally uses that was an excuse to go off and do it themselves, but for the most part this one seemed
Dana Burgess
Jun 04, 2011 Dana Burgess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A crowded marriage implies one ... one crowded marriage (ha ha ha - channelling my inner Count here. And throwing in a little foreshadowing) And in this fun, British romp, Catherine Alliott must have been channelling her inner Shakespeare. That's what this novel reminded me of: a zany, mixed-up, laugh-out-loud, Shakespearean comedy - with totally understandable language.

I fell completely in love with Imogen and her whacked-out family. They were so lovable that their foibles managed to make them
Marya Kowal
Aug 21, 2011 Marya Kowal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written book from the point of view of the suspicious spouse. Chick lit, yes, a romance, no. The main character's doting love of her son, and focus on protecting him rings true, as does her frantic behavior of suspicion and heartbreak alternating with blissful ignorance. The husband is portrayed well, as are her family and friends on the sidelines

Catherine Alliott's portrayal of a woman trying to decide if she wants to know, and how much she wants to know (both senses of the words) is tru
May 23, 2015 Quiltyknitwit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Comical (at times farcical) chick lit set in England featuring timid, self-conscious Imogen Cameron. She's married to handsome Alex. Financial circumstances force them to move to the rural area outside of London, where many mishaps occur involving cattle, chickens, and a wild hare. The book explores marriage, fidelity, and friendship in a modern way.
Kathryn Hall
Apr 25, 2012 Kathryn Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's the second Catherine Alliott book I've read and I'm endeavoring to read more, though it's a bit dicey securing new copies of her old books, given she's across the pond. She deserves to stand among the chick lit authors I've read over the years. (See my book lists.)
She's a bit a cut above. Here vocabulary is richer. She's quite funny (laugh out loud variety) and I'm enjoying learning bits about British culture, which I appreciate. I also think she's on a broad
Lisa A McElroy Sweeten

At first, Imogene frustrated me with her waffling about and her dishrag attitude. But the author facilitated her transition to the country and her new life as a means of bringing Imogene to herself. Masterfully handled. Characters are believable and real, with faults and foibles.
Nov 11, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can a husband who cheated on his first wife remain faithful after 12 years of marriage to his second wife? Imogen thinks her husband is faithful, but when forced to leave their sophisticated life in London and move to a small country cottage owned by Imogen's husband's former girlfriend, she begins to see signs that maybe he is not. Imogen wants to know the truth, but not only is she busy looking after her son, she is also busy chasing after escaped cows, running from crazed chickens, and meetin ...more
Tossing up between liking this one and REALLY liking it.....if I could give it 3 and a half stars I would. Some parts I loved - others, not so much.
Weird moments included the vicious chooks (really?), the red dress/tight undies scenario and the gory surprise birth in the Latimer's posh master suite.
I'm sorry, but I did not 'get' Pat the vet. He was all over the place - flirty when Imo first meets him, patronising and downright rude during his call-outs to the perfect passionate romantic at the
Jan 09, 2016 Arpita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I only picked up this book because I thought I could use a light read after a couple of intense books I read. This was, however, way too light for my liking. I felt like I was watching a long drawn out TV drama that had no story line except creating hook-ups and relationship complications. The character development was lacking and although well-written, it can only be best classed as a frivolous story not deserving a second thought.
Janine Precey
Entertaining enough book. The lead lady Imogen is mildly annoying but still has enough redeeming features to be sympathetic and relatable. The husband Alex is one dimensional and fairly unattractive so cast as the bad guy suits this.
Jessica Pappa
Nov 06, 2014 Jessica Pappa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i just loved it.i laughed at night so many times!!!so funny!i am going for a 3rd book of Alliot now.i think she writes fabulous!iliked Imo so much and the part with the knickers and the one with "greek bufallo"!!!i didnt want it the book to end,i read it while very miserable,and it managed to lighten me up a lot!
Apr 12, 2013 Den rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, chick-lit, 2013
A lovely quick read. Basically a woman moves to the countryside with her son and husband as his work is not going well. She finds herself immersed in the country life - looking after farm stock, trying to ignore that her husband is getting close to his ex (again), coping with being alone as he decides it would be better for him to stay in the city during the week, upsetting the vet and calling him out for no reason, sending flowers to the gorgeous school teacher ... It goes on. But life is not a ...more
May 20, 2016 Janci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable escapism but some of the scenes were just too painfully awkward. Who would do those bone-headed things? Although Imo's self revelation after the encounter with Pink Jeans was spot on.
Samina Noor
I enjoyed the style of writing and humour. But-if you're not a plush middle class who looks down at state schools-then you won't enjoy the book.

Feb 28, 2014 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way Catherine writes and she was one of the first authors I really got into. Love this book :)
Kristin Kinsella
Dec 13, 2014 Kristin Kinsella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed - requesting more by this author from the library
Feb 01, 2015 Calomar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Funny even if a little bit unreal ( as usual? )
Jun 28, 2014 Sabine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite, 2013
Just a great book for freetime.
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Catherine Alliott was born and raised in Hertfordshire. After graduating from Warwick university she moved to London, where she worked as a copywriter in advertising. She now lives with her husband, a barrister, and their three children.
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