Thursday, November 4, 2010
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Everybody remembers where they were the day they heard that Paddy de Courcy was getting married. But for four women in particular, the big news about the charismatic politician is especially momentous. Lola has every reason to be interested in who Paddy’s marrying – she’s his girlfriend but she definitely isn’t the bride-to-be. Grace, the journalist wants the inside story on the engagement. Grace’s sister, Marnie, might have the answer but like Grace, she has issues with the past. And Alicia, the soon-to-be Mrs de Courcy thinks she knows the real Paddy de Courcy but does she? Four very different women. One awfully charming man. And the dark secret that binds them all …
I have wanted to talk about this book for ages and I just can’t wait anymore. First, Marian Keyes is one of my most favourite authors of chick lite. I discovered her years ago with ‘Last Chance Saloon’. Marian is a fantastic author. She deals with common but important life issues women faced. For example in Rachel’s Holiday, it was alcoholism, mid-life crisis in Angels and Anybody Out There? deals with coping after death of spouse. But the way she writes them, you can feel the connection with the characters. You laugh with them and at them but you also ache and cry with them as you felt their pain and sorrow. I cried a lot when I was reading Anybody Out There? Will share that with you one of these days. :)
With This Charming Man, things seem to be a bit different. The message is much more serious and sombre and you felt a sense of seriousness throughout the book. The main issue highlighted here is domestic abuse and how each of those women being abused deals with it differently. Some went into denial, some blames themselves, some turns to alcoholic but some champion the issue... It is also about how it can happen to anyone whether you are a housewife or a career woman in the corporate or political world. For that reason alone, I find it a very different read altogether compared with the other titles. The seriousness of the message came through. Even Marian’s style of writing is slightly different here.
But you know what, with more than 670+ pages, you should just read it. Published by Penguin, I bought mine in trade paperback from the Penguin warehouse sales last year. According to reliable source, this title is no longer available in my country for reasons that I am not very sure of. Anyway, I am happy to add this to my collection of Marian’s titles that I have in my library.