Sunday, 24 February 2013

Guest Book Review: Sophie King - Divorce for Beginners

Reviewed by Ceri Kehoe

As Lizzie juggles running a failing women's magazine with bringing up a young family she ponders on whether you really can “have it all”. The answer comes sooner than she expects when her husband's actions turn her world upside down...

Alison should be looking forward to a quieter life with David now that their youngest has flown the nest. But David has other ideas and his increasingly bizarre behaviour leaves Alison wondering if she really knows her husband at all...

Karen has managed to hold her family together since leaving her husband Paul many years before. That makes her the perfect person to start The "How to Survive Divorce" Club, to help others on their own. But as the burden of past secrets unravels, Karen realises she needs help too.

Ed really believes in marriage. So much so that he's done it three times already. But as his work and home life get ever more complicated, will he ever be able to find “The One”...?

Add in mysterious diary entries, an overbearing sister, a troublesome stepbrother, the surprise return of faces from the past, grown up kids with their own problems, and ageing parents who've discovered the ups (and downs) of internet dating and you have a gripping and entertaining tale of modern life as our foursome struggle with... Divorce for Beginners.

Here we meet a group of people, newly single for one reason or another who have joined the 'How To Survive Divorce' club. Karen who runs the club left her husband 10 years ago, she believes that her experience can help others so she opens the club.

The other members are Lizzie, editor of Charisma magazine, her husband Tom has left her for her best friend. Alison, her youngest child has just left home, at the same time her husband David has left her and she's left quite a bit bewildered by it all. Ed, after numerous relationships which includes 3 marriages, all he wants is to find the right girl, settle down and have a family.

This book follows the trials and tribulations of their lives, how they are coping with singledom! Each chapter is devoted to a main character, I love stories told in this way rather than a conventional chapter one, chapter two etc.

Six sentences into the story I found myself belly laughing. I wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not, would the book keep the fun all the way through it or would it deflate like a balloon? I'm glad to say it did keep the fun, the writing flowed easily, making it an easy book to pick up, put down.

I really enjoyed this book, told in the third person narrative it explores every characters lives, it delves really deep and I felt I had a good understanding of how every character worked. There were plenty of other characters in this book which could have got a bit confusing but as each were related to a main character, I didn't have to stop and read back to find out who was who. King has included an introduction in the book to the four main characters and names of their children, friends. I loved all the characters but I feel that Lizzie's Mum and Dad must have a deserved mention for being fantastic, what a pair and I really enjoyed reading about their exploits!

This was good chick lit reading but with plenty of drama, every chapter ended on a cliffhanger, just like a soap opera, pretty hard to do because you have to keep that pace right through the book but King managed it. I swear at the end of each chapter I heard the opening bars of a well known tv show!

I'd highly recommend reading this book, a five star read for me.

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