Margaret's Reviews > Just Between Us

Just Between Us by Cathy Kelly
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Jun 26, 2009

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Read in July, 2009

Irish author Cathy Kelly is my summer palate-cleanser this year, just the thing to clear your head after a dense or demanding read elsewhere. Her novels have something of the same comfortable, low-stress quality as Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher’s, so they don’t require a lot of effort in the reading, but her voice is hipper and funnier, and that contemporary energy keeps her stories from sinking into the treacle of sentimentality that can so easily plague this kind of essentially cozy “chick-lit” writing. Usually set in small, beautiful Irish towns where everyone knows everyone else, her books always focus on a group of three or four women, all grappling with the expected sorts of things: children, marriage, career, parents, and how to balance all those responsibilities with their sense of their own individuality. Her characters are endearing and likable, subject to the usual array of human flaws and failings, and though their journeys are sometimes challenging – and Kelly isn’t afraid to introduce some pretty significant potholes – there’s never any serious doubt that everything will end more or less happily for them. It’s relaxing once in a while not to have to worry too much about how things are going to turn out! I have found that the later novels are stronger than the early ones, she’s more confident of her plotting and structure and livelier and more relaxed with her dialogue. Escapist reading for sure, good for a hot day with a glass of lemonade and some biscuits at hand.

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