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.
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 HaggasCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved