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A Special Relationship

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,499 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Sally Goodchild is everything you'd expect of a thirty-seven year old American journalist - independent, strong-willed and ambitious. That is until she meets Tony Hobbs, an English foreign correspondent, on assignment in Cairo. After a passionate but uneasy romance, Sally's life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly finds herself married, pregnant and living in Londo ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 5th 2004 by Arrow (first published 2003)
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gave up around page 180, then skim-read a chapter further along and then skipped to the very last chapter alltogether because I couldn't stand it anymore to read about the post-natal depression and the stupid British/American comparisons. But I needed to know that the baby was ok that'S why I read the last chapter
Douglas Kennedy is one of my favorite authors - I will read anything he writes. Sometimes when you have a favorite author, you run the risk they will write subject matter that is a little too close to home. This was one of those books for me. Loved it, devoured it, but had to put it down occasionally to catch my breath.

Sally is a journalist based in Cairo, meets and falls in love with and English foreign correspondent. They get pregnant, get married, then things start to go wrong.

Kennedy has a w
Douglas Kennedy is one of my new favorite authors. I read two of his books in less than a week (this novel and LEAVING THE WORLD). His novels appear to deal with very serious subject matter (suicide, guilt, post-partum depression...) while still managing to be very intelligent page-turners. The novels I've read thus far were written in a female voice; Kennedy is superb at this.

This novel is about Sally Goodchild, an American foreign journalist, and Tony Hobbs, a British journalist, who meet whi
Ceri Chamberlain
Jul 29, 2008 Ceri Chamberlain rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: non Brits
A really gripping tale well told, but what a hatchet job on us Brits! Made me feel seriously nauseous in its relentless condemnation of anything from this side of the pond. Nothing escaped the somewhat single-minded assassination: The NHS, the legal system, the weather, London, the very nature of the entire English population (apparently), corner shop owners, transport, cost of living, pre-natal care, post-natal care, English b@stard journalist men, posh English bitchy lawyers, drivers, old peop ...more
Paul Servini
This novel drew me in. It took a while to do so but once we got to the major turning point I was hooked. I particularly loved the narrating voice. For a man to get into the voice of a woman like this is a remarkable fit. It truly convinced me. True, you could always see the ending coming, but that didn't deteriorate, for me at least, the path there. And I must put in a special mention for that wonderfully drawn solicitor. Solicitous and determined, yet socially inept, he's marvellously drawn. A ...more
Barbara Green
A Special Relationship Is a riveting read. Douglas Kennedy captures the voice of Sally Goodchild the American journalist perfectly. She irritates and engages in equal measure but when her fairy tale turns into a nightmare, if you're like me, you'll be on her side. This book is a real page turner. The writing is a joy and he manages to capture the essence of a woman in throws of post natal depression. I highly recommend this book but be warned it's hard to put down once you've started to read.

Heart-breaking. Heart-wrenching. At some point, I can't help but feel the pain of anger. This book without noticing can completely wrap your feelings to understanding and pain. Two things that are hard to handle both at the same time. A page-turner. It made me feel victorious in the end though the journey beforehand is excruciating. I love this book. I love Douglas Kennedy. I love his brilliant mind.
Brianna Mulligan
I just finished Douglas Kennedy’s A Special Relationship, the second book of my dedication to summer reading. The cover is deceptive, and with no description on the back flap, I went into this intense and desperately unhappy novel blind. Thinking I was in for a quick beach read about love, the story instead followed the inner workings of a postpartum depression-haunted woman and a traumatizing divorce. This book was a combination of Jodi Picoult’s Keeping Faith and Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Ke ...more
Aug 19, 2008 Susan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Susan by: Book Club
Not only is this book not a good one to read while pregnant (or even with a new baby), but it doesn't offer anything to discuss. Except, perhaps, why Kennedy thinks he does such a good job at writing from a woman's perspective... A woman in my Book Club commented that it makes her think of what Jack Nicholson says in "As Good As it Gets" in response to Helen Hunt's question about writing from a woman's perspective. He replies: I think of a man and take away reason and accountability.

There is no
Judith Phillips
It's like reading a living nightmare. American journalist meets British journalist and have whirlwind relatioinship. She becomes pregnant, they get married and things deteriorate very quickly from there. He is a rotten scumbag, she does nit understand his Englishness and can't communicate with him or anyone English for that matter. She gets pre eclampsia and has the baby prematurely, and is then hospitalised with post natal depression and just when you think the story can't get any worse, it doe ...more
This is a really good book.....I just wish he would have come up with a better title. You would think this is going to be a romance....IT"S is a riveting book about trust, betrayal, post partum depression, fighting for what belongs to you and fighting for what is right.

It may start a little slow (that happens with so many books I've read lately) but WOW just hang on and keep reading and you will get a shock in short order!

A really good author, I have read him before and knew I wouldn
Sarah Leech
just finished this book and was amazed with the detail and character built by a male author dealing with such female issues, very frank and very well written. The mix of British and American view points related well to the atmosphere of the book, shows there are other options to using the weather as a frame, I thought this worked well within the context of the novel and was well constructed as a theme. A satisfying read throughout and as a courtroom drama fan I enjoyed this book immensely in its ...more
I loved this book. I was very scared for the character and what she was going through. As a mother I hated to see her treated the way she was. I couldn't wait to find out what happens. As with Douglas Kennedy's books I wasn't disappointed in it. I love them and I get so involved with them. This was a nail biter at the end and I couldn't wait to find out what happens. The thread in his books is depression, Bad men who leave their women, journalists and women who overcome terribe odds and come out ...more
Now that I have read two of Douglas Kennedy's books (A Special Relationship and Leaving the World), I'm wondering if his characters or his plots ever vary? I enjoyed Leaving the World; I didn't enjoy the second book. The main characters are the same: stoic, independent, smart women from New England with a cynical streak; charming, short, commitment-phobic men who talk her into marriage and then slowly back out emotionally with a fake smile pasted on and "everything's fine" platitudes. The big cl ...more
Audrey ❦❦❦
I had high hopes for this novel. Alas, some male authors should not write from the female point of view because they are entirely unconvincing. Douglas Kennedy is one of these authors. He has no clue what it is like to give birth or breastfeed a baby, and is sadly comical in his efforts to describe it. Waste of paper. Waste of my time.
Jul 15, 2009 Maegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who isn't pregnant
I borrowed this book from my sister-in-law. I am glad I didn't read it when I was in the throes of post-partum depression! It's amazing to me that a man wrote this book, he nailed so many of the feelings of a woman going through post-partum. I don't want to ruin this book for anyone, but I would absolutely recommend it!
Klaudyna Z.
This book was excellent. I didn't expect it to be such an emotional rollercoaster. I obviously read the excerpt and was surprised to find that things happened so quickly in the first couple chapters and was wondering what the rest of the book would really be about. I was shocked when I read about what Tony had done when Sally got back from the funeral. As I continued to read, I was shocked at how well Sally had handled it and kept wondering what I would do if I had been in the position. Her posi ...more
Alain Pirlot
I do actually read it in French, so surely missing something.
It is well written, and as usual with Douglas Kennedy so close to reality.
The story is hard, what is happening to the newly Mother is a tragedy...
At the middle of the book.
Another great book. And again, another not happy topic. The character spirals downward after having a baby, but it is so neat to read how she recovers and picks up the pieces and fights for what she wants in life. So well written
Tracey Tester
A very good - if slightly uncomfortable in places - read. Whirlwind relationship, pregnancy, post-natal depression and betrayal all in one book. Another book I found very hard to put down.
Douglas Kennedy is quite credible writing as a woman... the story offers nice little insights into Brit-American socio-cultural differences and some neat psychological twists and turns.
I took it on holiday to Spain and couldn't put it down. A special insight into post-natal depression but it is still a book of hope.
Saloua Kerroumi
This a very dangerous book to read, it one of those books that if you are not really ready it may mess with your head, I got to be true ,i didn't like the whole book and readinf it wasn't easy specially in the biginig and specillay because i never read for Douglas Kennedy so i din't know what to expect , but i couldn't put it down in the end, i hold my breath in the last chapter waitig for the final decision. It's not my favorite book ever but one of the books that i will never forget about for ...more
Journaliste au Moyen-Orient , Sally, femme très indépendante et aimant le sens de l'aventure, se trouve sous le charme d'un mystérieux " british" reporter au Boston Post, lors d'une mission au Caire. Sa vie se chamboule dès cet instant, elle finit par tomber enceinte et dès lors ce conte de fées vire à un cauchemar éveillé. Partagée entre souffrances et déprimes postnatales, Sally sombre dans ce qu'elle appelle son " marécage" , ses états de santé la poussant à dire l'impensable et l'inimaginabl ...more
J.M. Cornwell
When Sally Goodchild talks herself onto a Red Cross helicopter, she is in for a while ride, but it doesn't end while being shot at in Somali air space or after she is turned back in a Red Cross van going the other way, nor does it end when she meets Tony Hobbs; that is just the beginning of a very wild ride.

"A Special Relationship" is a wild ride on the order of Toad's Wild Ride, the book and the amusement park versions, but what really struck me is how sketchy the men in the novel appear. It to

Suite à ma première lecture de cet auteur, je me suis lancée dans celle-ci en me disant que cela n’allait pas être un coup de coeur, que ça allait être la même chose. Le fond est globalement le même mais après tout ça doit être le style de l’auteur. Style que j’ai enfin compris grâce à ce livre et finalement, que j’adore !

Autant commencer par, je crois, le seul point que je n’ai pas apprécié. L’histoire d’amour entre Sally et Tony s’accélère trop rapidemen
I quite enjoyed it. It is one of two Douglas Kennedy books we have at Book Club which initially I avoided since they appeared "way to girlie" from me ...

It was quite a hectic story, you knew it had to all end happily ever after no matter how bad it got in the middle, otherwise why would you read it ;)

I enjoyed this and would happily read other Douglas Kennedy books, no matter that there'll never be a forensic pathologist in any of them or how girlie the cover will predictably be ;)
I had no expectations about this book whatsoever, as I blindly pick it up from one of the shelves in the library. When I started - I could not stop. There are a few turns in the book, that make you want to read further. narrative felt really convincing. I recommend it as a great read for sommertime. And no - do not expect a romance! This is far closer to thriller...

I do not agree with the comments about Douglas being very critical about Englishman. I think this was an excellent view on showing
Krista Rae
My first experience reading Douglas Kennedy. I almost didn't get into it. For a book geared for women it started out kind of male... which made me dubious at first about whether he could really write from a woman's perspective on such deep issues as how it feels to have post partum depression and how to function when your baby has essentially been stolen from you. But he did a really great job of it in the end.
3 1/2 stars

This book reminded me of a Lifetime movie, meaning the writing wasn't good but I liked the story. I almost gave up in the beginning due to the dialogue and especially since I thought it was just a romance novel. Once I got into the story I was intrigued and had never read about this subject. I liked how the story kept building until the climatic ending....just like a Lifetime movie.
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Douglas Kennedy was born in Manhattan in 1955. He studied at Bowdoin College, Maine and Trinity College, Dublin, returning to Dublin in 1977 with just a trenchcoat, backpack and $300. He co-founded a theatre company and sold his first play, Shakespeare on Five Dollars a Day, to Radio 4 in 1980. In 1988 he moved to London and published a travel book, Beyond the Pyramids. His debut novel The Dead He ...more
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“... we seemed to possess a similar worldview: slightly jaded, fiercely independent ... ” 5 likes
“... the perennial outsider with his nose to the window, looking in on a world from which he felt excluded.” 4 likes
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