Saturday, 6 April 2013

Books Read: Pauline Lawless - Behind Every Cloud

Who would have thought a wine course could be life-changing? But a group of people signing on for wine-expert Sam's course are about to find out. 

Ellie is planning her dream wedding to accountant David who has just been head-hunted by a prestigious firm. She detests social pretensions but he seems overawed by his elite new colleagues. Can they overcome these differences? 

Rachel is the beautiful wife of newly elected politician, Carl. Perfect life, perfect home, perfect children but is anything ever as perfect as it seems? Does Carl have a roving eye and is Rachel too fond of her wine? 

Ronan's marriage to shopaholic Louise is teetering on a knife-edge and, when he loses his job, things go from bad to worse. Then Sam offers him a job in one of his wine shops. But can he get his life back on track? 

Zita, who works in television, is fiercely ambitious and has set her sights on Rachel's husband to further her success. Will she be able to ensnare him? 

Eight weeks later, they know their wines but everything else has changed out of all recognition.

Behind Every Cloud is one of the books I had earmarked to read during my Irish Fiction feature month but I didn't quite manage to fit it in in time but still decided to read it anyway. 

This is a story of a group of people with nothing in common who meet up at an evening wine class run by Sam, a young entrepreneur who owns a chain of wine shops.

There's young Ellie who signs up to the class to try and fit in with her fiance David's new circle of friends, his colleagues and their spouses that's he started socialising with since starting his new job, even though he's no longer the same man that she agreed to marry.  Can they overcome their differences and plan their perfect wedding?   Then there's Ronan who's struggling to keep on top of the debts that his shopaholic wife Louise keeps running up, despite his job being in jeopardy.  His brother bought him the wine course as a birthday present to try and help take his mind off things for a short while.  

Rachel appears to have the perfect life with her marriage to handsome up-and-coming politician Carl, their two young children and her mansion in Howth but appearances can be very deceiving... And then there's Zita, an ambitious TV producer who only decides to sign up to the class when she hears that Rachel will be there as she plans to use her to get to her husband. 

Making up the numbers are a couple of teenage girls from a local grocery store plus a couple of young employees from Sam's shops.

But by the end of the course a lot has happened in the lives of Ellie, Ronan, Rachel and Zita; some of their relationships have hit the rocks, others are on the cusp of a new relationship and the past finally catches up with another...

What I loved most about this book was the fantastic mix of characters who if we're honest would probably would never have anything to do with each other if it wasn't for the course, but as the course progresses and they get to know each other they end up forming strong bonds and are there for each other in their times of need. 

Yes there was a little bit of predictability in there but you know what I didn't mind that one bit, it's a nice easy read that's perfect to take your mind off things for a moment or two. I'd definitely read another Pauline Lawless book in the future, in fact I have a copy of A Year Like No Other sat in my TBR pile.

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