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Lessons in Heartbreak

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,814 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Upbeat and bursting with emotion - this is another gem from the No. 1 bestselling author, Cathy Kelly.


Three Lives. Three Loves. Three Reasons to Let Go.


Izzie Silver left the small Irish town of Tamarin behind for New York. Life is good – until she breaks her own rules and falls for a married man.


On the other side of the ocean, Izzie's aunt Anneliese discovers the pain of i
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Paperback, 438 pages
Published 2008
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,814 ratings  ·  122 reviews


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Allison
When I read a book I want to connect with the main character. In this particular novel, however, I had a difficult time creating that connection with the character of Izzie. I can't quite put my finger on why this was the case. Maybe it was because I never really felt like I knew what made her tick.

Anneliese and Lily are another story. I felt Anneliese's heartbreak and feelings of betrayal when she found that her husband, Edward, and her best friend, Nell were having an affair. As a reader I und
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Ruth
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Izzie Silver works in the fast paced world of fashion and models in NYC where she has been successful but her heart remains in Ireland where her family lives in a lovely seaside village. Izzie's granny, Lily, had to be both her mother and grandmother after Izzie's mother died of cancer. Her Aunt Anneliese has also played a powerful part in her life as she provided support while Izzie and her daughter, Beth grew up together.

Izzie returns to Ireland when her granny has a stroke and is hospitalize
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Gladys Maina
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
When I picked up Cathy Kelly, I was in a reading slump and was so looking forward to an easy chic-lit story. However, of all her books that I have read, this stands out to be the most serious of them all. Though the title is misleading, she addresses very pertinent issues. From love, heartaches, heartbreaks, divorce, adultery, marriage, depression, suicide , family wrangles, death and the world war, yes, world war.

I could  have easily rated it a 4* but felt she squeezed too many themes in one bo
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Samira Salimi
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Three lives. Three loves. Three reasons to let go. This books talks about betrayal, sacrifice, war impacts, & lots of more facts in life. There were moments that I like to cry because of strong impressions caused by life game. Love and pure affection can be so joyous & agonising. I also learnt something new about death: some people do not go gently, they really do fight. It is said 'do not go gentle into that good night'. I suggest that you read this book & refresh your thoughts regarding decisi ...more
Jean
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Only recently I discovered the writing of Cathy Kelly. I enjoyed this book very much - Cathy Kelly might be a best-selling author but she is also an excellent writer. Although the three women who suffer heartbreak of various kinds during the course of this novel, and I admit to shedding a tear or two for them, I was left with a sense of hope by the end of the book. I look forward to reading more novels by this writer.
Leonie Byrne
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chic-lit
This was the first Cathy Kelly book I've read and I really enjoyed it will definitely be picking her novels up in future. Chic lit is such a wide genre now that some stories are repetitive same old same old but this was definitely different. Set in 3 countries across two different eras and with the focus of the story being on several different women and their perspective on dealing with adultery it really gave different sides to the the time old story.

Lilly is old in her 90s and looking back on
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Cath Cuthbert
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Mediocre read to be honest. So much potential but the whole thing felt disorganised and rushed with no real depth to any storyline. I was going to give 2 stars but the book did have some redeeming qualities which you might find if you chance to read.
Gretchen
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Now, if you are in the mood for reading about the approaching death of a much loved granny and her 1940's love affair that could not be, an Irish lass in NYC in love with a married man which also is not to be,AND the breakup of a thirty some year marriage, (this character wrote the book on depression), this is the book for you. I gave Kelly two stars for readability, but the rest is sheer agony.
Paula
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
my first Cathy Kelly - her previous covers have been enough to put me off but this one was OK. Enjoyed reading it to the end. Liked how the strands all ran together.
Doreen
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Doreen by: Carol Handley
A great story shared between 3 generations really like it.
Gab
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a lovely book, in the "Irish fiction" genre. Thirty something Izzie Silver is living in New York, but she's not really happy. She rushes home to be with her grandmother, Lily, who raised her, after Lily had a stroke. And her aunt Annaleise's life has been turned upside down when her husband of over 25 years has left her. The three women strive to find happiness and must turn to the past to do so. I really enjoyed this book
Kerri Jones
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Better than average storyline centred around infidelity with views from both sides including the heartache caused and some of the reasons why. There was also a side story of the grandmother Lily and her adventures in heartbreak in the war while she is nursing in London, it becomes a secret that the family learn later. A really touching ending wraps it all up.
Janice
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love these kinds of book that take you on an adventure into the past. There is mystery, lost love, forsaken love, tense familial relationships and life lessons. Great characters and I love the setting. Definitely a book you start and want to read all at once.
Ho-yee
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Three love stories were interesting but I was having difficulties to connect with two of the stories. In general the stories were OK and thankfully the author did not waste any time or words on any unnecessary details.
Jennifer
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another from my travels. Kathy's characters are all so wonderfully created and seem to be right there in the room with the reader. Loved the book.
aaliyah Rafeeq
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This plot wasnt one i could relate to so my mind did wander and wasnt into this book like some of others i have read but was still a good read and really sad
Lizzie
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disconnected and bitty.
Joy
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a quick easy read between books. I've read a few Cathy Kelly and they're normally quick easy reads.
Barb
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes it’s nice to read a story about a woman in my age group 😊
Abirami
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vickie Taylor
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and the way infidelity was woven through the stories of each of the main characters lives. I would have liked more on lily but I think that would need to be a separate book!
Best Crime Books & More
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a book set between New York and Ireland, the past and present. It follows the lives of Izzie Silver and her close friends and family. Izzie meets Joe, a married man who she falls in love with and he has a huge impact on her life and the decisions she makes. She doesn't realise that her life is mirrored more than she can imagine by her grandmother Lily who falls ill back home in Ireland whilst Izzie is making a go of her own Model Agency. We then meet Izzy's aunt Annelise, whose husband c ...more
Cass -  Words on Paper
Got past the first few chapters, but lost interest and haven't been bothered to get back to it. I'm not interested enough to get back to it, and so I'm probably going to sell it. I'm so saddened that I had to pay $30 for such a dull book, and this was my first Cathy Kelly book. I'm disheartened from picking up another of her books. I couldn't connect with anyone in the novel up to when I put it down, and there were no redeeming qualities that made me want to keep reading.

It was just flat. :\ May
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Laura
May 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, completed
Not my ordinary type of book, but I needed a light read with the excitement of being at the beach! It was a simple to read, honest story; not much to analyze. Certainly the most chick-lit book I've ever read. Gave it to my best friend IMMEDIATELY. I enjoy that it dealt with so many conversations that modern women feel they must handle. I also enjoyed that Kelly questions relationships across the board, and didn't get too caught up in the story line of the 'single, beautiful, successful 30-someth ...more
Sanne Rotsaert
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy-reading, but sometimes that's just what you need. However, at the end, I felt that there could've been more to this book. I felt the storyline of the mansion and the historic research/mystery was not played out well, and that story kinda died out towards the end. We didn't really find out much about it.
Also, on the back of the book (dutch edition) it said: "Izzie and Anneliese have so much they would like to say to Lily, but find solace in her touc
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Mummy Loves Books
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
With a 5 hour train journey to and from Scotland and London to fill I had to pick my reading material with care so I took along the newest paperback by Cathy Kelly. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment by the irish authoress and liked the way that it brought together the 3 experiences of adultery that the main characters lived through.

I particularly liked the way it linked the story of Grandmother and Grandaughter and how through flashbacks it told the similarity of their stories, taking
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Diana Săsărman
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I read this book only because it was one of the few buying options I had at that moment. I was spending two weeks in Greece and since I couldn't find many books in English when entering the bookshop, I chose this. It didn't impress me, but as a novel whose meaning is to distract your thoughts from the worries you have, it's okay.

At that moment, I was just after failing an important exam and expected to understand the main character better (in spite of the fact that the nature of her disappointm
...more
Marisa
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Relations surrounding betrayal, and breakups.
Recommended to Marisa by: Goodreads
Library Request. This was a sad and yet uplifting read, it showed the worst side of betrayal and the desperation felt and the power to move on. I would recommend this to others who feel they can't let go of the past in order to move forward, it can be uplifting to some. On a down note Izzie's situation of all the infidelities was the hardest to except and I was so frustrated that she allowed herself to be used as she did and as long as she did, for such a strong character build it was hard to re ...more
Anita Johnson
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Izzie Silver's name might not sound very Irish but she is a true coleen from her red curls down to her soul that is rooted in Erin's green sod. Cathy Kelly has created another wonderful story of strong women. Izzie and her grandmother are more alike than she ever knew until she is in her 30's. I get excited every time Cathy Kelly comes out with a new book because I feel like she's writing about my family or people I wish were my realtives.
Jen
Haven't gotten far yet, but reads like any old romance novel I guess. Formulaic and boring. The main character is apparently a beautiful woman whose goal is to start a modeling company for plus-size women, and most of the first chapter is spent pointing out how stupid waify models are. So why is the lady on the front cover of the book skinny? That annoys me. Maybe it is another character who will show up later...
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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

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