The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes

I had to hang around in a waiting room much of today, so I had plenty of time to get stuck into my latest buy, this Marian Keyes number. I finished it in one day – not so much consuming as inhaling it – which I guess means it sucked me in!

Truly though; I sometimes find Marian Keyes isn’t quite to my taste (at times I have found her novels to be a little depressing for me – me, the diehard dystopia fan!), but I really enjoyed the way this story unfolded. The pace is beautiful and the foreshadowing subtle, but not so subtle that you miss it and have to flip backwards. Every so often, I enjoy being able to see the twist coming, and in this case I did without being so sure of myself that it got boring. I suspected what was going to happen, but didn’t know, which is a very hard balance to strike!

If I have one criticism, it’s a visual one – Keyes uses different typefaces for different settings/time periods, and I found that a teensy bit jarring; the font used for the present (as opposed to extracts or the recent past) feels more like it belongs with the extracts… but to be fair, that is an overly nitpicky and very subjective thing! I sometimes had to double check when in the timeline I was reading, as opposed to the typeface helping me know intuitively, but honestly it’s not nearly distracting enough to take away from the characters and story development.

I suppose this novel would count as ‘chick-lit’ (although I hate that phrase SO MUCH) but as ever, Marian Keyes doesn’t do mental or emotional candy-floss (not that I have any problem with literary candy floss, mind you!). The story, while focussing on the life and relationships of its 40-ish female lead, touches on themes of karma and fate, and there are some beautiful moments of pathos without it being sickly sweet or unremittingly depressing. The interwoven plot really is clever and elegantly structured; all in all, a very enjoyable way to spend several hours in a waiting room!

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