Poor Claire! Her husband leaves her for another woman on the day she gives birth to their first child and she travels home to Dublin to recover from the shock in the bosom of her family. She spends the next few weeks alternately crying, drinking & exercising in one of her mother’s old nightgown, while her family looks after baby Kate and tries to sympathise with the unwashed maniac Claire has become. The Walsh family (consisting of Claire’s four sisters as well as her Mum and Dad) are eccentric and oddly endearing. When Claire eventually digs herself out of her depression and starts to question her marriage, it is her family that provides the financial and moral support to enable her to confront her husband.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
We thought this was a great summer read. Despite the serious topic and events taking place, the book is told in a very funny way. Since it is written in first person, the reader rides along on the hilarious tangents of Claire’s thoughts. The book also contains a core of truth in that the attempts of James to put the blame on Claire for the breakdown of their marriage follows a typical pattern. This is Marion Keyes’ first novel and we were pleased to learn that she has written two more books about the members of the Walsh family: “Rachel’s Holiday” and “Angels”.