Josie's Reviews > The Other Side of the Story

The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
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's review
Feb 12, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: chick-lit
Recommended to Josie by: Sarah
Read on February 13, 2010

Firstly, I would just like to boast that I read this 600+ page book in ONE DAY. Completely, started it in the morning, finished in the evening. And so if I managed to do that, it must have caught my interest. And, well, yes it did. I was never bored, I just kept reading and reading, sucked into the stories of these three women. BUT it's the kind of book that I probably wouldn't choose to read again, nor will I remember much of it in a month's time. And now comes complaint time, because I found I didn't really relate to any of the three characters, and they all did things that really annoyed and frustrated me!
Firstly, Lily. I've always found it slightly distressing, actually, to read or watch characters who have no idea about managing money go about wrecking their lives. I just cannot fathom why you would buy an expensive house when you did not have a fixed, steady income to pay back the loan - but worse than this is the fact that even though they were broke, they went out on a shopping spree in a ridiculously expensive store, never mind the consequences of THE BANK TAKING THE HOUSE. It just reminded me of watching Middlemarch, when Tertius and his STUPID wife kept on spending well beyond their means, and she just didn't get it. Yes, like I said; it makes me distressed.
And Gemma...well Gemma wasn't too bad, apart from her obsession about a boyfriend she had YEARS before, who was 'stolen' by her best friend, oh, and the awful way she treated Owen.
But most annoying was Jojo (and no, it wasn't just her name!) who, apart from doing something I completely disagree with on moral and stupidity grounds, sounded like an adolescent for most of her parts of the story. I understand the author trying to give each of the characters different voices, but is it really realistic to have a 33 year old intelligent career woman saying 'like' and 'you know' every tenth word? And things weren't 'very' tempting, oh no, they were 'way, WAY' tempting, like, you know?
Hmmm...but I still read it all in one day!
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message 3: by Sarah (last edited Feb 14, 2010 04:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah Hmm... I actually rather agree with all of your criticisms about this! Especially about Lily, things going wrong all the time IS upsetting to read about (I got that feeling a lot during Wildwood Dancing, although in that case the problems weren't usually THEIR FAULT so slightly less annoying). And Jojo - I think M.K. might have been trying to make her 'voice' sound American! I don't know why I like these books so much, I think it's just kind of escapism, you know? Someone else's problems. Plus they're entertaining, I enjoy her sense of humour. I think you'll prefer 'Anybody out there' (the sad one I reviewed recently) if you want to try another one? It is a similarly large book but similarly quick reading.

Josie Go on then, I'll read Anybody Out There, if you'd care to lend!

Claire Simpson I totally agree about the money thing - I think it was part of the reason why I disliked Lily so much. I just kept wondering why she didn't get a job. Anton was a bit of a skeez too though, he kept pushing her into things like buying a house they couldn't afford.

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