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What She Wants Hardcover – June 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (June 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525947396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525947394
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,301,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Irish writer Kelly (Someone Like You) knows exactly what women want in their contemporary romances-to escape into a world populated by believable characters in search of more satisfying lives sprinkled with romance. Her latest, rich with the emerald allure of the lush Irish landscape and tart with Kelly's sexy, bracing humor, follows four diverse women linked to the charming Kerry town of Redlion. Hope Parker, 37 ("Mrs. Tracksuit Bottom"), is the mother of two, wife of Matt, who is an ad exec/closet novelist and heir of his uncle's Curlew Cottage in Redlion. Hope fears she will lose her handsome husband-("The seven year itch wasn't just an itch; it was a damn outbreak of eczema")-and quickly agrees to accompany him for a year's writing sabbatical during which her marriage is surprisingly challenged by her attraction to another man. Hope's sister, Samantha (Sam) Smith, "teetering on the abyss of 40," is a hip London music mogul, rattled by a doctor's diagnosis and a raging discontent that can be dealt with only when she finally admits what she needs. Virginia Connell, 58, a grieving widow from Dublin, moves to Redlion, takes up golf and finds that there is life after loss. Discontented Irish/Indian Nicole Turner, 23, loves karaoke but dreams of singing professionally. After she's discovered by one of Sam's A & R people, Nicole learns that fame and fortune pale in comparison to her need for independence and love. Surrounding these women are many thoroughly developed supporting characters and sufficient side plots to fuel a sequel. Romance fans should rejoice in this chatty, comfortable story, as warm and satisfying as Irish oatmeal.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ah, the age-old question: What do women want? Though men may be clueless, women are supposed to know. Yet in the case of Kelly's heroines, four very different women struggling to cope with strikingly similar challenges, the answers are not always obvious nor easily found. There's terminally timid Hope, whose ingrained insecurities cause her to sublimate her own needs in favor of those of her self-centered husband and demanding children. On the other hand, her resolutely self-reliant sister, Sam, a record-industry executive, sublimates her personal happiness for the sake of her career. Recently widowed, Virginia tries to honor her husband's memory as she forges a new life for herself, just as rising young pop star Nicole falls head-over-heels in first love while trying to keep her career-feet firmly planted on the ground. Set in the contrasting venues of a quintessentially quaint Irish village and vibrant, urban London, Kelly's lengthy novel of personal growth and discovery empathically communicates highly charged yet recognizable emotional issues through resilient and realistically drawn characters. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

This was another good read, good plot with many sub plots and characters.
Pleased grandmother
I have become a big fan of Cathy Kelly's books and have read six of them and enjoyed them all.
Suzi
Her books are good light reading, and you feel like her characters are your friends.
Norvi Wood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on July 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cathy Kelly is a most enjoyable author to read. Her contemporary stories feature likeable women facing problems we can easily relate to, and the characters grow with a lot of self-motivation and help from dear friends. WHAT SHE WANTS follows this pattern beautifully as readers meet Hope, Sam, Virginia, and Nicole and are intimately drawn into their lives.
Hope is a young mother with two small children and a handsome husband she never feels worthy of. Hope lacks the courage of her convictions and meekly adjusts her life to whatever Matt decides, even when it comes to uprooting her family, quitting her job, and moving to a strange town where she knows no one so that Matt can "find himself" and become the author he has always dreamed of being.
Her single sister Sam is a career-driven executive at a major record company in London. She has an impressive resume, money in the bank, a designer wardrobe, but lots of fears as her fortieth birthday arrives.
Virginia is a widow with three grown sons. The unexpected death of her husband Bill leaves her alone and depressed. She struggles with finding the strength to face each day and becomes a virtual recluse until a chance meeting sets a new life in motion for her.
Nicole is young, beautiful, and talented. When a colleague of Sam's discovers Nicole at a karaoke bar, the possibilities of fame and fortune open up for her. But does she have the ability to leave her mother, grandmother, and little sister behind?
You will enjoy spending time with these four plucky women and the friends and lovers who enter their lives. Follow them as they each confront a personal crisis and find fulfillment in unexpected ways.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Open Cathy Kelly's newest novel and you enter a world full of characters you would like living in your neighborhood. They instantly warm the atmosphere around you with fresh cooking aromas, English gardens and pets so adorable you'll ache to cuddle them. Curling up with WHAT SHE WANTS is an ideal way to pass the lazy days of summer. It's a great feel-good book.
Hope Parker has a gorgeous husband, Matt, and two children whom she yearns to spend more time with. But when Matt unilaterally makes the decision to uproot his family and transplant them to Redlion in County Kerry, Hope balks at the idea. He argues that he needs the freedom and atmosphere to write the great novel that is bottled up inside him. Always compliant, Hope bites her lip, smiles and agrees. Writer's block isn't the only problem that faces the couple in Ireland.
Hope's sister Sam lives the life of the high-powered businesswoman in London, pushing herself through a daily grind that constantly assaults her physical and mental well-being. It takes a medical scare and a trip to Redlion to make her step back and see herself as those around her do. A surprising change comes into her attitude and, ultimately, her life. What had at first seemed a pesky new neighbor blossoms into an enchanting new male friend. Their verbal sparring lessens, but there are still rocky roads to travel.
Meanwhile, Nicole --- young, beautiful and talented --- has hopes of becoming the newest pop star. Darius, Sam's business colleague, discovers Nicole at a karaoke bar one night and falls hopelessly in love with her and her husky voice. Nicole, feeling her usual responsibility for her mum and little sis, wrestles with her conscience over her newfound love and freedom. She wants to share any success with all of them.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith on August 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have owned this book in paperback form for years, and I love it. I was excited to get it in Kindle version. However, it's missing Nicole's entire story! She's even listed in the Kindle book description- how can you just cut her out? In addition to leaving out one of the 4 main characters outlined in the book description, it leaves out minor items, like when Hope buys her chickens, and when she discovers the cottage yard has rats. They are a small part of the story, but they still added to it. If this is how they translate Cathy Kelly's books to Kindle, I will NOT buy any more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Serena on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
You know her books are going to have happy endings which is the kind of book I want sometimes. This book, which I think is the best Cathy Kelly book I've read, is full of interesting people who are all connected or become connected in some way. It made me want to move to the town of Redlion in Ireland which is where much of the action takes place.

Cathy Kellys' books aren't literary triumphs--they're sort of middled-aged chick-lit. However, they are entetainment triumphs. I don't think many writers can keep readers interested for over 700 pages like Ms. Kelly can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzi on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have become a big fan of Cathy Kelly's books and have read six of them and enjoyed them all. Her ability to bond women of all ages (from a young aspiring singer, a single businesswoman, a married mother of two, and a widowed woman) all meeting in a small town in Ireland, sharing modern situations that probably everyone can relate to, either in their own life or someone they know. Cathy Kelly can show you that women can make changes in their lives, especially with a good support team!
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