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The Other Side of the Story: A Novel Paperback – April 11, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This rambling, chatty audiobook draws listeners in slowly (sometimes painstakingly so) as it follows the lives of three dynamic women—jilted Gemma Hogan; literary agent Jojo Harvey; and bestselling English author Lily Wright, who "stole" Gemma's boyfriend Anton. Gemma, hurt and betrayed by her best friend's actions, must put her emotions on hold to care for her mam after her dad takes off with a younger woman. Reader Donnelly enthusiastically captures Mam's dour Irish voice and Gemma's younger, more innocent one. Her energetic reading style also helps sustain readers during the book's plodding moments, such as when Keyes describes the happenings of Gemma's work day, her drive home, her trips to the chemist and so on. The details don't let up when the story abruptly shifts its focus to Jojo, who works at a prestigious London firm. Donnelly doesn't quite capture Jojo's American accent, but the English accent she adopts for Lily is spot-on. On the whole, Donnelly does a fine job narrating this marathon-length audiobook, and though it takes a while for the pace to pick up, listeners will be wrapped up in the characters' lives by the story's end.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The impressively prolific Irish novelist is back with yet another delightful tale featuring three clever, totally mad women. Gemma Hogan is going through a bit of a rough patch, and it all starts with her haircut. Although she thinks she looks like Liza Minnelli in Cabaret, her friends keep greeting her with the words, "Live long and prosper." In addition, her dad has run away from home. She must tend to her incredibly needy mom while juggling her job and trying to recover from losing the love of her life, Anton, to her friend Lily "Every Man for Myself" Wright. Gemma has serious vengeance issues. Meanwhile, Lily, feeling terribly guilty about Gemma's unrequited love for Anton, has written a runaway best-seller and embarked on a home renovation spree with the profits, all of which is threatened when her second novel tanks. Her literary agent, ambitious Jojo Harvey, has done the previously unthinkable--become involved with her married boss. Packing every page with her trademark one-liners, the insightful Keyes has the ability to examine life, love, and work issues with great wit and aplomb. Sex and the City junkies will find a suitable replacement here--one with considerably more warmth and without the ugly clothes. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060731486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060731489
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (325 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

It is very well-written and the characters are very well developed.
Chic
I am looking forward to reading the rest of Marian keyes books and look forward to her new ones.
"renatas79"
When i hit the first page of the book, I just had to finished it to the end..
Becky Mirkwood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Danielle on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was very excited that Marian Keyes was coming out with a new book. I loved Lucy Sullivan, One Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners and, to a lesser extent, Watermelon. However, I found this one disappointing and a bit boring. I never felt emotionally attached to any of the characters, which with Keyes past books I had. I liked Gemma in the beginning, but by the end was sick of her. Lily was way to whinny and her and Anton's love at first sight was just too neat to justify the situation. Jojo's relationship problems just dragged on for too long that by the time the inevitable happened, I didn't care. Overall, that was probably my biggest problem with this book, everything was too prolonged, I would have liked to see more action.
On the plus side, Keyes did do a wonderful job of interweaving the main characters' stories. Even though I was disappointed with this book, I was still able to get through it relatively quickly, which is a testament to Keyes terrific writing style.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on April 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Marian Keyes' latest is a true gem which transports the reader to the thirty-something singles life of Dublin and London. With empathy and humor she tells the story of very believable women whose lives intertwine.
Gemma Hogan is a Special Events Planner in Dublin. She has recently lost the love of her life, and to make matters even more unbearable, said love is now happily ensconced with her former best friend Lily and the child they have together. Gemma seems to have enough heartbreak, but now her father has left her mother for his secretary, and Lily has not only captured Gemma's boyfriend but has written a best-selling novel, something Gemma has always wanted to do.
Meanwhile, Lily is not only wracked with guilt over the aforementioned theft of affections, but also having trouble coping with a non-working mate and the lack of money they must exist on. Child-care mishaps and a second novel that is more of an embarrassment than a bestseller add more pressure to Lily's life.
Jojo Harvey, a Jessica-Rabbit clone, enters the picture as the literary agent who represents Lily. But Jojo the dynamic businesswoman is also Jojo the homewrecker as she guiltily pursues a relationship with her very-married boss.
Add one more catalyst in the form of Susan, former best friend of both Gemma and Lily, who has moved to Seattle, Washington. Susan becomes Gemma's sounding board via email and is privvy to the intimate details of Gemma's disheveled life, her desperately needy mom, her non-boyfriend, and a certain chemist who fills prescription after prescription for her. Susan thinks the emails are so interesting to read that she wants to share them. Taking a calculated risk, she sends them to Jojo Harvey who agrees they would make a great book.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I have read all of Marian's books and this was one of my favorites. I really felt like I knew these people by the end of the book and I couldn't wait to see how their story lines would be resolved. I enjoyed the format of the book - with several chapters at a time devoted to each character.
Marian, if you read the reviews (like Lily did...) way to go. I loved this book and have already recommended it to all of my friends.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazonbombshell on October 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how, but Marian Keyes always manages to write something that is at at once funny, wise, insightful, and fun to read. Her books look like that favorite sterotype of reviewers, "Chicklit," but they're about much more (and they're much better!) than the skinny cartoon girls on their covers suggest. Keyes's characters are real, her stories inventive, and even when the ending wraps up in far *too* happy a manner, it doesn't make the book any less of a good experience.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY has all the winning ingredients, and I'm happy to say it mixes them up well and combines them into yet another great read. The inside look at publishing is hilarious, and very enlightening for anyone who has ever wondered what it would take to get their work in the local bookstore! The Lily-Gemma-Anton triangle is well done and the resolution -- though it seems lacking at first -- is very realistic. Jojo is a superbly written character, and her relationship with her married boss (and his relationship to his wife) is explored with great sensitivity to all the complex issues it creates.

Since the first 100+ pages were about Gemma, and the next Jojo, and the next Lily, I didn't understand at first how they would all fit together in one story; the relationships between them didn't seem strong enough for that sort of split style. I should have known, though: Marian Keyes pulls it off every time. Read it and see for yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Like many other readers, I love Keyes' earlier works best. I felt she was coasting with Angels, and in Sushi for Beginners, I just didn't sympathize with the main character.
The Other Side of the Story had many of the things I like about Keyes: believable (for the most part) women characters with fairly realistic careers, loves & problems. Humor, but I miss the laugh-out-loud moments from Watermelon, Rachel's Holiday, etc.
The first part of the book, Gemma's story, capitivated me. Unfortunately, my interest and sympathy for Gemma waned as the book progressed. That wasn't entirely her fault, as it's hard to have a story with two first person narrators.
Unlike other readers, I liked Lily and could sympathize with her worries. She was loyal enough to feel guilt at her apparent betrayal of Gemma. The story of how that came about made it clear that she acted as Gemma herself would have done if the situation had been reversed.
However, this made Gemma's anger and desire for revenge seem vindictive and immature, even boring. As in, he wasn't the love of your life, deal with it. I also wasn't crazy about how she treated her young boyfriend.
When Gemma was the narrator, I never could recapture my initial enjoyment. In general I'm not crazy about women who eighty-six good friendships over passing boyfriends, or who blame the "other woman" more than the man who actually betrayed them.
Jojo was more interesting than I expected, though too much of a composite. Keyes tries for everything in there: glamourous sex symbol, high powered career woman, ex-policewoman, fashion maven. I mean, come on.
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