Sunday 9 November 2014

Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
Publisher: Penguin Books UK (Michael Joseph)
Release date: 07 November 2014
Rating: ***
Back cover blurb: 'Okay, I'll write my introduction. 'Name: Stella Sweeney. Height: average. Recent life events: dramatic.' Stella Sweeney is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband Ryan and their two teenage kids in Dublin. She works with - or really for - her terrifyingly ambitious sister Karen in their beauty salon. Nothing to get excited about here. Nothing to make her particularly unhappy. Or happy... No-one would be interested in stealing her life. But then things started to happen... One day, Stella, attempting a good deed, causes a little car accident and faces down a bad tempered, handsome stranger. She hardly gives it much of a thought. But karma is hovering, and is about to take over, swoop in and change Stella's life for ever. For better or worse. Suddenly Stella has a life. A thrilling glamorous one. A life that other people might start to covet...

So here's the thing, I really like Marian Keyes and I've read many of her previous novels. However I'm really disappointed to say that this one just didn't do it for me. Maybe it's because I've recently been ill and my concentration levels might not be great, or maybe it just didn't have Marian's usual magic.

The Woman Who Stole My Life is a novel about, well just that, however although it is hinted at quite a lot through the novel, the actual 'stealing' doesn't happen until quite near the end, and maybe that's why I didn't love it. I felt like I was always waiting for something to happen.

In fact I even questioned at one point whether the title was an accurate one because although I could see what was going to happen, it didn't seem to come any closer to happening the further I read. Indeed, events could still have followed a similar pattern even without the help of the 'stealer' due to Stella's own personality and experiences.

Stella herself our main protagonist has undoubtedly been through a lot in her life, including the contraction of a rare disease. Upon her recovery Stella is given the opportunity to promote 'her' book of sayings etc that she communicated by blinking whilst unable to speak. The self-help book is set to be the next big thing and Stella swept up in everything moves to the States with her two children and her new boyfriend, leaving her ex-husband and family with mixed opinions about her future 'career'.

Stella is quickly integrated in a luxurious lifestyle that many would envy and begins work on her second novel to keep her publisher and publicist happy. Struggling to cope, she enlists the help of her new personal trainer Gilda, never believing that she would betray her....

Back in Dublin Stella begins to reflect on her past, and what might happen in her future, consequently the novel could get a little confusing for some, and does require a little concentration. Personally and sadly it wasn't really my cup of tea. I didn't feel particularly engaged with any of the characters and the story seemed to take a long time to get going, but this is only my opinion and I am sure there will be others who will love it.

The Woman Who Stole My Life is available to buy now from Amazon online and all good book shops.
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Thank you to the publishers who approved my request in exchange for an honest review.

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