Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Guest Book Review: Cecelia Halbert - Up The Hill

Reviewed by Ceri Kehoe

Cecelia Halbert is a funny, intelligent, and attractive fifty-year old Chicago-area author who feels isolated by her marriage to her emotionally vacant husband. She falls in love with a brilliant and unavailable actor who teaches her what love can be, illuminating the deficits in her dysfunctional marriage. The actor encourages Cecelia to take a no-holds-barred weekend trip to Santa Monica, ostensibly to engage in non-committal, non-judgmental sex with an Oscar-winning writer she met on Twitter. The trip results in an unexpected twist of events, shaking Cecelia's world and her conscience. Wondering if she has somehow created the drama in her real life in order to fuel her writing, Cecelia returns home to pursue the happiness that has always been just out of her reach.

Cecelia, a fifty year old teacher is on her second marriage to Edward but having a non sexual affair with David. Through Twitter she meets a writer online and agrees to meet him for sex, all because she's writing her own book.

What follows is the fallout of Cecelia's marriage to her emotionally detached husband, they have two children together, Michael who's got Asperger's Syndrome and daughter Mackenzie who suffers with ADHD.

David is married to Wendy who's suspicious of what's going on with David and Cecelia and the fallout of their marriage.

I'm a bit stupified by this book, told in the first person narrative it was all very disjointed, a very wishy washy story. I didn't understand why Cecelia was doing the things she was doing. She's got four children but only two in the story, the other two were grown up but I'm not sure how much as they weren't mentioned except for one sentence about one of them.

Because of that I didn't feel I got to know the characters very well, especially the main characters. If I had to pick a favourite it would have to be Edward, he was a harmless old soul! Two of Cecelia's friends were calling her all kind of different forenames, I can't say I'm 100 percent sure that Cecelia was the main characters name! It would have been so much easier and straightforward to have stuck to the one name!

I've seen this book described as funny, hilarious even but none of it shone through for me. Despite there being one explicit sex scene it felt like the author wanted to do more but didn't have the nerve to go through with it so compensated by throwing in a few swear words to try and be a bit more modern. Sadly none of it worked for me.  

I wouldn't recommend this book and give it 2/5 stars

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