Saturday, May 3, 2008

Review: Anybody Out There

Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes
5 stars

Reason for reading: I love Marian Keyes!

Summary (from Publishers Weekly): "Anna Walsh has returned to the bosom of her family in the Dublin suburbs to recuperate from the horrendous car accident that has left her with multiple fractures and a disfiguring scar across her face. Desperate to go back to New York and resume her normal life, she soon packs up her bags and returns to her job in beauty PR for [kooky] cosmetics brand Candy Grrrl. A lonely and debilitated Anna leaves e-mails and phone messages for her mysteriously absent husband, Aidan, pleading for him to reply."

First line: "Mum flung open the sitting-room door and announced, "Morning, Anna, time for your tablets."

My thoughts: Hooray, she's back! I was a bit disappointed with Keyes' previous novel The Other Side of the Story (still worth reading but I didn't feel she was at her best). But now, thanks to the wonderfully dysfunctional Walsh family, she's produced another excellent book.

Anna's mum and her scary, beautiful sister Helen are a hoot. Mrs. Walsh 'sends' Anna 'e-mails' filled with random words in 'quotation marks' for 'emphasis.' Helen sends e-mails where she "parrot-phrases" what's happening in her P.I. job working for the Dublin mob. This is the 4th book about the Walsh sisters, which means only Helen is left and I'm sad. Anna's work for Candy Grrrl also provides a lot of comic relief - Anna is forced to wear "quirky" outfits to work (terrible hats, purses shaped like unpurselike things, pink fishnets) when what she longs for is a charcoal suit. And the PR firm is filled with a vast array of weirdos from the girls who work for the crunchy granola brand and are all in AA to Anna's dragon lady supervisor and their uber-dragon lady boss.I'm often rather slow on the uptake when it comes to movies and books (especially with mysteries), and I was with this one, too. But, as I often find, that made it an even better read for me because I was totally shocked when it finally dawned on me what had happened to Anna and Aiden - I had an actual gasping moment. You'll figure it out long before I did, but I won't ruin it for you.

Final word, this book is equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious and is one of the best I've read this year.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

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