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Lifesaving for Beginners

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  720 ratings  ·  95 reviews
An accident on the motorway. One woman dies. One woman lives. Nothing will ever be the same again. Kat Kavanagh works in Dublin as a technical writer. She has no children and is fond of her man-friend, Thomas. She never thinks about what happened when she was fifteen. That's Kat's story. None of it is true.

Milo is ten and lives in Brighton. He's pretty busy trying to keep
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Hooder & Stoughton (first published 2012)
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Rea Cobb
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some of you may have read one of Ciara Geraghty’s books Finding Mr Flood, Saving Grace and Becoming Scarlett but for me Lifesaving For beginners is the first of this authors books which I have read. I usually always read the first chapter of a book that is sent to me to get a taster of the book but reading the first chapter of Lifesaving for Beginners just wasn’t enough I had to leave the current book I was struggling with and just had to carry on reading this book.

Kat Kavanagh has just had a mi
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lifesaving For Beginners was published by Hodder in September 2012 and is Ciara Geraghty's fourth novel. Why have I not read any of her books before now? Where have I been? Where has she been? Somehow, her novels have totally passed me by and until I saw the cover of Lifesaving For Beginners, I had honestly never heard her name before. Big slaps around the head for me!! On the positive side though, this does mean that I now have her first three novels to catch up on.

The story is just so wonderfu
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, chick
Told through the eyes of both a nine year old boy from Brighton and a 39 year old woman from Dublin, this looks at the aftermath of a road accident. The story works well and the characters are convincing. Would suit fans of One Moment One Morning. The story manages to be quite sentimental in places, while never becomming cloying, not as light a read as you might think from the child narrator.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This really sucked me in! I didn't think I was going to like it but ended up reading it more-or-less in one sitting. Ciara Geraghty has a way with words and although the plot was fairly predictable, she knit it together with wit and humour.

I'll look out for more from Geraghty.
Sam Still Reading
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of general fiction
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: read other books by same author, copy given to me by publisher
I read this book in three parts for a readalong organised by the publisher. These are my thoughts.

Part 1 (pages 1-149)
Lifesaving for Beginners is Ciara Geraghty’s fourth book. Her first, Saving Grace, is one of my favourite Irish chick lit books. (You can also read my reviews of Becoming Scarlett and Finding Mr Flood by clicking on the hyperlinks). All her books all deal with serious topics in addition to being a lot of fun. I think that Lifesaving for Beginners is somewhat of a departure from t
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ciara Geraghty’s is an author who never writes the same book twice. You know how some authors have a unique writing style that you just KNOW by reading it? Like Paige Toon or Sophie Kinsella. How all their books all have that unique imprint? Ciara Geraghty just does not have that. Not one of her four novels are similar to the others. Which, it has to be said, is strange. Authors are meant to have writing styles, aren’t they? I’ve never known an author write such wide-ranging and different storie ...more
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed at:

Ciara Geraghty’s books have been on my to-be-read list for quite a long time but I never actually got round to reading them. So when I received a copy of her fourth novel, Lifesaving for Beginners, I couldn’t wait to get started. But even though it sounded like something I would enjoy, I had no idea what to expect. All I can say is: three pages in I was already hooked and I’m not exaggerating when I say I loved this book from start
Sophie (Blogger)
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review of Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty

About Lifesaving for Beginners -

Kat Kavanagh is not in love.

She has lots of friends, an ordinary job, and she never ever thinks about her past. This is Kat's story. None of it is true.

Milo McIntyre loves his mam, the peanut-butter-and-banana muffins at the Funky Banana cafe, and the lifesaving class he does after school. He never thinks about his future, until the day it changes forever. This is Milo's story. All of it is true.

And then there i
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
See my full review here: http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wor...

It’s the story of parallel lives – forty-in-a-few-months Kat who has just broken up with her partner (Thomas) and almost-ten Milo, whose mum has recently died. One lives in England, one lives in Ireland but a twist of fate brings these two together.

I really liked the dual narration – two distinct voices, both perfectly executed. Kat – well, you know her – she speaks directly to the audience I imagine this book was intended for. And
Karen McMillan
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is a charming novel with memorable characters and a plotline that is both moving and gently humorous. The book opens with a horrific car accident, one that leaves one woman dead while another woman miraculously survives. Living in Dublin, Kat Kavanagh is the survivor, but instead of feeling grateful to be alive this 39-year-old feels as though life is closing in on her. Her boyfriend Thomas wants to marry her – but she wants their relationship to go back to how it was and she feels suffocat ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
2.5, 3; I don't know. mixed feelings for this one. a lil bit confusing at the early part, and I'm not a fan of the changing font. I thought it would be about the guy that caused the accident, but I realised that the accident is just the author's way to tell me that the two victims, of the car crash, somehow related, in a remarkable way.

I felt like I was reading a diary or something, one is a diary of a 39 years old woman, who I don't know why, but everytime I'm reading it, I felt like her mind
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an engaging, emotional story – a perfect balm to follow a couple of psychological thrillers! Ciara Geraghty's Irish heritage is evident in her style, which is lilting, warm and well laced with subtle humor. I liked it a lot, and I was moved to see Maeve Binchy mentioned in the author’s acknowledgements at the end. ‘Finally, to Maeve Binchy, who died this week. I will never hear your stories, on the page or the radio……….. I will miss that. I will miss you. You inspired me. You told me th ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was completely engaged with story from the very first page. In my view Lifesaving for Beginners is one of Ciara Geraghty best novels.
A truck is going too fast with the driver falling asleep at the wheel. The truck hits an animal with the truck then crashing into a woman driving a Mazda.
Pauline Rix
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I'm glad that the ending was positive. It was a great read. ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Ciara Geraghty has a lot of potential, but I felt that Lifesaving for Beginners fell a bit flat/was hitting a lot of off-key notes for me.

First, the title. It's mind-bendingly cloying and overly metaphorical. I could have maybe stomached it a little better IF it wasn't referenced constantly in the book as a sort of "ha ha ha ha these characters will save each other how beautiful is this metaphor?!" moment. Like, notice: HE NEVER ACTUALLY GOES TO LIFESAVING CLASS IN THE BOOK. He only mentions it
Circlestones Books Blog
„Four months. That’s all it takes. Four months for everything to fall apart.” (Quotation Pos. 893)

A brief moment of inattention of the truck driver, a deer on the road, two hitten cars, and after this first of June everything has changed. For Kat Kavanagh, the thirty-nine years old famous author, who publishes her crime novels under an alias, who was in one of the two cars, and whose friend Thomas told her that she were lucky. For Milo McIntyre, nine years old, whose Mam was in the other
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lifesaving for Beginners

By Ciara Geraghty

Two lives, one day, one car crash and a twist of fate brings 2 families together living in different countries.

Milo McIntyre is 9 (nearly 10) years old and lives in Brighton with his mum and elder sister. He loves his lifesaving class after school and going to the Funky Banana Café which his mum owns but one day everything changes.

Kat Kavanagh lives in Dublin, survives a fatal car crash and from that moment struggles to make sense of her life and why
Amy Shannon
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting memoir

This is an interesting story by Edlestein that shared a life experience, and brought to life the story. There were a lot of details and angst in the shared experiences. I found the writing style to be enjoyable, and with darkness there was a bit of life. The story seems to be written for the author's benefit, maybe seeking some healing or catharsis. It's interesting to see the experience of others, and how it may help them, and in some ways help the reader, too. I hope Edlestei
Nikki Houghton
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I quite liked this book but it’s not my favourite Geraghty by any means. I found myself disliking Kat Kavanagh intensely and I thought the coincidence of the accident too contrived and, though I enjoyed actually reading this book, I found that I finished it with a huge sense of relief and a little distaste. I would recommend it but not above her other novels; it tried too hard, was too worthy in many places, and hugely annoying in others. And, for what it’s worth, I think she’s terrible when she ...more
Monique Mulligan
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Reading Lifesaving for Beginners as part of a bloggers’ read along didn’t work for me as it has in the past – while I loved the conversation, I just wanted to keep reading at my own pace rather than stop-start mode this time. I had so much else going on at the time, that I found it harder to pick up where I left off because my mind was jammed with so many other things. That said, I was sucked in with the first chapter of this book. It had a great hook worthy of “how to start a novel” writing cla ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn't fathom this book at all.
It has got a very chaotic start where a lot of characters are suddenly introduced as the result of a car crash.

It's a multiple point of view book where instead of mentioning who is the point of view of the font changes, making the book look sloopy and unprofessional, if you ask me. It was a unusual and creativity way to do the POV changes but, at least for me, it didn't work.
Helen Kollin Fichtel
3.5 stars
Extremely well written, good plot and interesting characters. Some very moving chapters, I especially thought 9yo Milo’s voice was excellent. Reminded me in parts of Lorrie Moore’s writing, but then towards the end it became somewhat more cliched and I think the neat tying up of the story let it down, otherwise this would have been a clear 4 stars.
Will definitely look for more by the author.
Bronwyn Rykiert
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, friends, audiobook
I did not like Kat for most of the book but then she changed. I missed what made her change her attitude but it could have been her parents, at last, talking about her daughter who she had at 15 and had put to the back of her mind or had she? The ending was good and for me that makes the book okay.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book to read on holiday, relaxing on the beach, sipping a colourful cocktail ... very pleasant reading. Liked the storytelling from two points of view though I must admit having a soft spot for Milo's point of view. Good one! ...more
Marisca Van Daele
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Took some time to get into it, but then it became worth it. I really like the perspective of the woman and the boy. You need the boy as a happy counter part for the woman if you want to read through it.
Julie Cobham
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first book by this author and I will now search out her others. Great story which kept me reading late into the night. Loved Milo- his Mam was right, he is a tonic.
Heather Mcewan-Nugent
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoying this author. This book keeps you hooked right to the end. Deals with hard subjects in sometimes a humerous way.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good read, I like how Ciara combines the two voices and slowly brings them together. A feel good story.
Vera Loy
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is actually the second time I've read this book - one of my favourites! ...more
Jennifer Lawler
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I remember reading Ciara's debut, Saving Grace, and I absolutely loved it.  I thought it was clever, zeitgeist-y, and genuinely funny.  Then she kind of dropped off my radar.  

I've learned that she published two more novels in the interim, Becoming Scarlett and Finding Mr Flood.  I've read neither so I'm not sure what they are like. However, I have read her latest book, published last summer, called Lifesaving For Beginners and I really enjoyed it.  I didn't love it as much as her debut, but it'
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Ciara Geraghty is an Irish bestselling author. She lives in Dublin with one husband and three children.

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