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Sushi for Beginners: A Novel Paperback – June 14, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060555955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060555955
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For Ashling Kennedy, the new job she lands at start-up Irish fashion magazine Colleen is a dream come true. For Lisa Edwards, a high-maintenance London editor expecting a promotion to New York, her appointment as editor-in-chief of Colleen is a slap in the face, the only consolation being her rumpled-but-handsome new boss, Jack Devine. Furious at being passed up for a job at Manhattan magazine, Lisa vows to make Colleen the envy of the fashion industry, even if it kills her. She drives her Dublin staff to exhaustion, and Colleen becomes a smashing success. But after a particularly lusty meeting with her much-maligned long-distance London boyfriend, she wonders if the move and the single-minded career obsession have been worth it. Meanwhile, Ashling is betrayed by her boyfriend and her best friend Clodagh, whose bourgeois domesticity she's long envied. Ashling realizes that she has to let go of her cheerful "Miss Fix-It" demeanor and go after what she wants. Lisa is chagrined and Ashling is shocked to learn that Jack may actually fancy Ashling, but one "sushi for beginners" dinner has her convinced. British bestseller Keyes's latest confection (after Watermelon) makes such a painfully brittle start the reader nearly despairs of the cardboard cutout characters, but slowly they begin to breathe and morph into charmers. Keyes's considerable following on these shores will declare this a delight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Keyes' latest novel about hipster singles in the city takes place in Dublin, where they live and play and bemoan their romantic and professional fates. All the best elements of the popular literary trend in British "chick-lit" are here--a lovable, yet awkward, every-girl heroine; the boss-cad with a heart of gold; the funky best friend; and everyone dropped in a chic and happening workplace, the editorial offices of new Irish women's magazine Colleen. Ambitious fashionista Lisa has been summarily removed from her coveted editorship in London to one in Dublin, where she regularly barks orders to her rookie assistant, Ashling. World-class worrier Ashling vents with her friends Joy and Ted while secretly envying her friend Clodagh's domestic dream life. Clodagh, meanwhile, has been having strong urges to run away from her loving husband, demanding children, and countryside manor. Keyes stirs these delightful ingredients into a frothy mixture that will please her fans. Readers will happily visit with these likable blokes, who are definitely "friends of Bridget." Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

She has developed her characters very well.
I didn't really care for the characters in the beginning, but there were many surprising turns later on that kept me interested till the end.
Enjoyed it thoroughly, a light and easy read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By doctor_beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the sixth Keyes novel I have read. Generally, I find that she provides average-to-good reads, although for the type of fiction she writes, I find her books to be a bit too long. This novel was no exception, as the first half of the book really dragged; in particular, it was hard to get into the story because one of the main characters, Lisa, was not at all likeable. However, the book definitely picked up in the second half, when the characters became more three-dimensional and better developed. The story centers around Lisa, a hotshot London magazine editor who has been banished to Ireland to start up a new magazine; Ashling, the plain Jane who gets a job as an assistant editor of the magazine; and Clodagh, Ashling's gorgeous best friend who feels smothered by her roles as wife and mother. All three women are trying to sort our their work and love lives while also dealing with demons from their respective pasts. The cast of supporting characters adds interest, including Jack, Lisa and Ashling's boss; Joy and Ted, Ashling's supportive friends; Boo, a homeless man who Ashling befriends; and Oliver, Lisa's estranged husband. My actual rating of this book is three and a half stars: if you can hang in there through the somewhat boring first half, you'll be rewarded with several unexpected twists in the second half. A worthwhile read for fans of Keyes, but perhaps not for others.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on September 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marian Keyes is deservedly known as the queen of contemporary womens' novels, and SUSHI will not disappoint either her long-time fans or those new to her work.
Set in the glitzy world of a high-fashion magazine with a detour through the madcap comedy club circuit, this book has its hand and heart on the pulse of young Dublin singles and marrieds who aspire to be successful, wealthy, and happy.
Ashling Kennedy is the heart of the story---the everywoman with boyfriend problems and weight problems. When she is offered a second banana spot on "Colleen" a new magazine for the upwardly mobile Dublin woman, she feels she has latched on to something really good. Unfortunately, her boss and editor-in-chief is the very disappointed Lisa Edwards. Instead of a big promotion to the New York office, this assignment feels like a passport to hell to the ultra-ambitious fashionista. Horrified at being shuffled out of London and off to Dublin, she vows to make this new magazine one the world will sit up and take note of.
Rounding out the trio of women is Ashling's best friend, Clodagh Kelly. Married to a handsome professional, the mother of two children, and tucked away in a beautiful home, Clodagh seems to have it all. The only glitch in her life is that she is bored and miserable.
The lives of the three women weave together and eventually collide as life takes some unexpected turns. An ex-husband, a wayward boyfriend, a handsome managing director, and staunch friends add interest to this story of surviving the daily grind and making it work for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dizziey on June 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is my first Marian Keyes's books and I understand now why she has so many fans. "Sushi For Beginners" deals with the world of magazines in Ireland. Lisa, a powerful editor for a magazine in London was transferred to Ireland to start a new magazine targeted at women called "Colleen." Lisa was terribly unhappy at this transfer as Ireland was dull and dreary compared to London and she considered it an insult. At the same time, she was recently divorced from her husband of four years. Lisa is one of those difficult boss/supervisor as she is extremely competitive, arrogant and expected nothing but the best. Her assistant editor, Ashling was the complete opposite.
Ashling is a big worrier and with somewhat low self-esteem. However, she is extremely kind, sensitive and caring. She found out that working for Lisa was extremely difficult as Lisa seemed to take it upon herself to make Ashling's life miserable. Then there is Jack, the managing editor at Colleen who also seemed to bully Ashling and Lisa had her eyes set on him. Other characters in the book include Clodagh, Ashling's best friend who is an unhappy housewife and mom, and who seemed to blame her husband for everything; Ted, Ashling's stand up comedian friend; and Marcus, another stand up comedian who seemed to be interested in Ashling.
There are definitely a lot of characters and plots in this book which at times can be a little confusing but once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy the book. The storyline is nothing new - the whole arrogant editor and victimized assistant but Marian Keyes adds subplots which makes the entire book quite a treat. In addition, there are definitely humor and romance in "Sushi For Beginners". This is a great summer read!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Caroline P. Hampton on May 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Marian Keyes does it again with "Sushi For Beginners". This talented Irish author tackles the world of fashion magazines with her new tale, and does it with her usual charm and humor.
The backdrop of "Colleen" magazine is the perfect place to set up the main characters. First you have Londonite and fashionably dressed Lisa Edwards, who thinks that her life is over when she is shipped off to the great north to be the editor of this new magazine with a the smallest staff known to man, no perks, and well ---- it's in Ireland (which she thinks is a fate worse than death.)
The bright spot is the really sweet (sometimes overly sweet) Ashling Kennedy. Ashling is everything that Lisa is not. She's not fashionable, she's not worldly, she's not --- well, posh. But, she's the foundation of this book and really the driving force behind this great tale of work, love and friendships.
I don't think there is a better author out there than Marian Keyes and she didn't let me down with this one. I love "Sushi for Beginners" and would suggest it to any lover of this genre or great fiction in general.
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More About the Author

Marian Keyes lived in London for ten years before returning to her native Dublin. After receiving a law degree and studying accounting, she began writing short stories in 1993. She is the author of three previous novels--Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, and Rachel's Holiday--all major bestsellers around the world.

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