Rating: 4.5 stars
I know its been a while since a review, but, before I start, I just want to point out that I’m starting to format my reviews in a different way, because I feel it might be easier to understand than just paragraphs of me ranting (: Let me know in the comments if you like the format of this review better than my earlier ones, or if you like those better.
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Claire has everything she ever wanted: a husband she adores, a great apartment, a good job. Then, on the day she gives birth to their first baby, James informs her that he’s leaving her. Claire is left with a newborn daughter, a broken heart, and a postpartum body that she can hardly bear to look at.
She decides to go home to Dublin. And there, sheltered by the love of a quirky family, she gets better. So much so, in fact, that when James slithers back into her life, he’s in for a bit of a surprise.
What I liked
The characters. Each of the characters were well-developed, and it wasn’t like you only knew them at surface level. When a character was introduced, by the next few chapters, you knew everything about them, their personality, and their view on the problem unfolding. I found this awesome, because it really helped you understand the relationships between each character, and long after you finish the story, you can still remember their unique traits, and what made them special. They stick with you long after the story ends, and I don’t know about you, but that’s one of my favourite things about book. The characters, the way they interact with others, and what they mean to you.
The relationships (well, most of them). I haven’t read a lot of books like this one before, so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect when it came to Claire’s relationships with the people around her. Everything was described so well, you could form and imagine conversations that might have taken place between two characters. Claire’s family was so unique, and everyone had a completely distinct personality. Her friends were always there to support her, whereas the toxicity in her and James’ relationship is described to the point where you’re crying for Claire, because you feel sorry for her poor, cough *misguided* cough soul.
What wasn’t my cup of tea
The pacing. I was expecting this book to be a chick-flick, but it was a lot deeper and more meaningful than what you would usually expect from one. There was also a lot of stretching (sorry I don’t know exactly how to say it). But what I mean by stretching is Keyes excessively elaborated on certain events, to the point where it got boring. I’m all for descriptions – but sometimes it was pulled over for too long, and had unnecessary pages dedicated to the same event/problem. When you could have simply finished the issue on a page, it droned over for a chapter. However, because of the plot and storyline, I still wanted to know what happens to Claire, and what the ending looked like. This wasn’t a very major issue, but merely something I had to point out.
James. I’m pretty sure he is the antagonist of this book, and you’re not supposed to like him, but I loathed James. I hated his slimy personality, how fake he was, how he acted, his behavior, and how he treated others. I hated how he used everyone around him like a pawn, and believed he was superior. He constantly lowered Claire’s self-esteem, and treated her like rubbish. I know he’s sort of the bad guy, but my feelings of hate toward him were just too strong!
Overall + Trigger Warnings
Overall, I’d say this is a wonderful book. But, before you start reading, make sure you think of it as a sort of family drama instead of chick-flick. To be honest, I haven’t read books in this genre, so it was a pleasant surprise that this was my first one. As I said earlier, I would probably give this book a rating of 4.5 stars. Another thing I want to mention is that this book is actually a part of a series – I only realized this recently when I looked it up on Goodreads. Thankfully, it’s the first book, so everything makes sense. The name of the series is the ‘Walsh Family series’, and I think the other books follow Claire’s sisters and parents. I haven’t read those yet, so I have no idea how they’re going to be 🙂
- Mentions of divorce
- Mentions of alcoholism
- Drugs, drug references