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What She Wants

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,789 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Ireland’s #1 bestselling author Cathy Kelly weaves a heartwarming tale about a group of friends who discover that when life gets comfortable, unexpected surprises are just around the corner.

Do you know what you’ll be doing next year? Three friends—Hope, Sam, and Virginia—all thought they did. Hope would still be slogging it out as a working mom, snatching quality time with
ebook, 768 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Pocket Books (first published 2001)
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Nov 24, 2012 Christine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I almost didn't make it through this book. The characters are almost insultingly stereotypical. Hope is a depressed housewife. Her sister Sam is a lonely workaholic. And if I just stopped my review right there I bet you could guess the happy ending. Yes, it's that predictable.

I kind of hated most of the characters (especially Hope) for the first 250-300 pages of the book. That's a lot of pages to be hating on the main character. I was bored to tears reading about Hope having no backbone when it
Aug 16, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Its hard for me to not love a book. This one was just kind of long & drawn out and the story wasn't even deep enough to keep me going. It took me almost a month to read this book. When I'm used to reading books this length in 3 or 4 days, that says a lot. Plus the ending (on both sisters parts) were kind of predictable and anti-climatic. In my opinion anyway.
Rhonda Rae Baker
Oct 18, 2009 Rhonda Rae Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful read! I was pleasantly surprised at how real-life the characters were and what happens to them is believable like the story of many lives yet it wasn't boring at all, infact it was relaxing and encouraging.

Sometimes I don't pick up the 'thicker' novels because they tend to ramble on and on but this one was the perfect length. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was happy that there was more to tell. Many characters to relate to and beautiful prose to carry you off into their w
Michelle Sallay
This was the second Cathy Kelly book I read, and I am not sure I am interested in another. I found myself enjoying this book ok when I managed to sit down and read it, but I had a hard time finishing it.

Kelly was constantly introducing new characters that were going to be around long enough for them to be described and then they were never heard of again. Usually by page 300 I don't want to hear anymore two page long character descriptions.

I did gain a fondness for the little town that was descr
The whole I was reading this book, I was disturbed by this niggling thought that I had read about these characters and storylines before. Either I had read this book before and forgotten all of it or Cathy Kelly tends to recycle protagonists and story arcs. I think it's highly unlikely that I'd forget a 600-page novel, so I'm guessing it's the second option.

This book is completely harmless. It's a good way to occupy a few hours with becoming overly engaged with the characters or, really, caring
May 27, 2015 Lynda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What can I say..this book is so long winded ..
You just know there will be (A happy ever after} at the end..

Hope her sister and all the people in Redlions..a village in Ireland.. gossip through the book from start to last page. Jobs, Boyfriends. moods. babies. husbands.affairs,family.

that's it..then happy ending.

Not my sort of book.

Aug 24, 2009 Terrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1st of Cathy's books that I read and WOW - in a million years I would not have thought this was "my type of book" and yet it is now one of my favorites!
Dianne Selwood
Really wanted to love this book, but it took a long while to get into and to relate to the characters, once I did it was a good read, though not a "page turner" for me
Feb 10, 2015 Carolelewislucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book couldn't put it down it gets better and better as it goes on.
Jun 10, 2017 Lo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think she should have dumped the guy. Period.
Carolyn Hill
Every so often I like to indulge in Brit chick lit (or Irish as the case may be). Cathy Kelly objects to the term 'chick lit' as too limiting - generally focusing on a young twenty-something in search of love. By that definition this isn't chick lit. Should it be termed women's fiction or romance? I'm more comfortable with women's fiction rather than romance, for I find this different from American genre romances, which typically I don't care for. Cathy Kelly is often compared to the late Maeve ...more
A really fun romantic novel. I knew 300 pages before the end who was going to end up with whom, but it was fun getting there. Although it bothered me that huge portions of the plot hinged on the protagonists being really horrible communicators - if you don't freakin' tell somebody about the problem, or listen to why things happened the way they did, then you deserve what you get (which according to this book is a really hunky man, so hopefully no one's getting their relationship tips from novels ...more
Aug 06, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book - a little long and some characters were not nearly as engaging/endearing as others. For example I really enjoyed reading about Hope and her issues in Redlion but when it switched to Sam, her workaholic sister...hmm, not so much - a little too predictable. Overall a good read and because I was cheering for Hope I was able to finish in two days - if she would not have been such a realistic, likeable character I'd probably still be struggling to get through it.

My issue is with the cover
Feb 09, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started off nicely but draged a bit at the end. Speaking of the end, it was too ' Happily ever after' and a bit unrealistic. Would have altered the story lines slightly. Hope's story was pretty good and interesting. Liked Sam's too, but it would have been an altogether better story line if her diagnosis was delayed till the very end of the book.
Virginia's storyline went really bad towards the end. One moment you're Reading of her extreme grief and the next she's dating and all in a matter of mo
For some reason, I decided to go and pick up some chick lit for a bit of lighter reading over the holidays. This book was slightly better than I anticipated and I found myself quite liking Hope and her story. However, I will admit to nearly skipping the parts about her sister Sam and her woes. It was just too damn predictable and a far too overused stereotype for me to handle. Virginia was ok when there were other characters involved and Nicole, well I pretty much forgot about her. She wasn't ne ...more
May 24, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I read Someone Like You by Cathy Kelly, which I thought was her debut novel, but apparently is her fourth. I really liked it, but not, perhaps, as much as Best of Friends.

Then I read What She Wants, and amazingly enough, I noticed the trend...all her stories have women (mostly three, but this had more) who're friends, who're finding themselves, careers, and love. Thankfully she's got enough characters and ideas for plot, storyline, etc., to make the pattern new and interesting with each novel
Oct 18, 2015 Pernilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was slightly put of this book when I saw how thick it was but it sounded like a read that I would enjoy so I thought I'd give it a chance. Took a little while before you got to know all the characters but once I did I absolutely loved this book. Great storyline, interesting and loveable characters set in this magical/idyllic village of Redlion. Predictable maybe, but I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Highly recommended. My first book by this author but definitely not the last, I will be on the ...more
Dec 04, 2009 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a departure for me, but I wanted something light. Hopefully I am not reminded why I am so picky when it comes to books...

UPDATE: I finished this over the weekend. It was pretty good. At first the characters were a bit stereotypical, but then they became believable and likeable. By the end, I didn't want it to end and wanted to continue following their lives. This book didn't have amazing life lessons or profound to add to the world but it did underscore the importance of female friends
Lara Maskell
Jul 07, 2010 Lara Maskell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book looked daunting as it was handed over to me from a dear friend from Kerry, Ireland. She said read this you will find it be thoroughly enjoying. I looked at it as if i would take me a year. I started it on vacation in key west and finsihed sitting at the beach in Beverly. I honestly got so wrapped up in these women's lives and was inspired by them. I was actually sad when it ended. One book I would recommend to every woman i know to read!
Jann Wabick
Mar 21, 2015 Jann Wabick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jann by: Maggie
A solid 3 and 12, maybe a 4. This book takes a long time to tell its story. The main characters are all a little flawed, but well meaning. One character in particular really needs a good shake early on, as she is so obsessed with the opinions of other people, instead of focusing on her own needs. Fortunately, they all reveal themselves, and sort themselves out to varying degrees. Not a bad read, but not the best either.
Not a bad read, just very very very long. Normally I can breeze through a 500-plus page book in 2-3 days. This one took me about 2 weeks. It might've been better if it was about 200 pages shorter. Typical characters, typical ending. I found myself putting it away after 50 or so pages and doing other things.
Apr 11, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, the dust jacket blurb was a little off, especially in the case of Virginia-the blurb leads the reader to think that Virginia and her husband move to Ireland, but that's not quite the case. But the book was good, but it took just about the whole book for Hope to grow a spine. Made me wish that I could find such a nice group of friends in my own area.
May 03, 2014 Blair rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, it took me months of picking up and putting down and eventually I have decided to call it a day. Disappointing, firstly because I actually enjoyed the town, the characters, pretty much everything except for the lack of climax and.... Well, Oh how it dragged on, and on, and on, with the end too far in sight I put it in the goodwill bin.
Jul 24, 2013 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
572 pages. This should have been two books instead of one. Too many characters and side stories. The friendship between the women was warm and fun. The description of the countryside put you right there.
Aug 21, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chick lit at its mediocre best. I have read other books of hers and I find them all very similar and perfect happy little endings, which i ususally like, I guess I am done with chick lit for a bit now and should try something a little less perfect.
I Read
May 09, 2009 I Read rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-life
I can only rate this as 'okay' because although written fairly well, I didn't feel the storyline provided enough to warrant extra stars. It was more one of these 'on-going soap opera' type books. Modern and a bit nothingy if you ask me but a relaxing read if you don't want something to taxing.
I do like Cathy Kelly for a light read, but surely her editors could have picked up on the shocking overuse of the word "utterly"! Once noticed, it's as grating as listening to a teenager whose every second word is "like" - you're always braced for it and it's "utterly distracting"!
This author is really good at books that are too long. I personally feel that one or two subplots could be dropped without harm -- and thus making a more manageable length. That said, I do like her writing and characterization a lot, and her stories are engaging.
Tiffany Schepens
Nederlands titel: Wat ze wil! Boek gaat over 4 vrouwen die door omstandigheden vriendinnen worden, elke vrouw heeft haar eigen problemen, vragen en twijfels. Samen komen ze er wel uit. Geestig boek. Leest heel vlot. Mist soms wat diepgang en personages konden nog verder uitgediept worden.
Mar 03, 2009 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing and fun, similar to Maeve Binchy. Kelly writes about the lives of several women over the course of a year: some in England, some in Ireland. Their lives all collide in some way and they learn something about themselves and grow in the process.
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Goodreads Librari...: Book with incorrect title/co-author 5 24 Jan 16, 2013 05:37AM  
REAL LIFE 1 6 Nov 01, 2012 11:56PM  
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Born in Belfast but raised in Dublin, Cathy initially worked for thirteen years as a newspaper journalist with a national Irish Sunday newspaper, where she worked in news, features, along with spending time as an agony aunt and the paper’s film critic. However, her overwhelming love was always fiction and she published her first international bestseller, Woman To Woman, in 1997. She did not become ...more
More about Cathy Kelly...

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