on Nov. 22, 2011 :
This is a zippy little tale that is full of indecision and heartbreak. Over all it is pretty upbeat but has some moments where you want to tear your hair out based on character’s actions. Sometimes the narrative gets a bit slow but overall it is enjoyable to read. I like the main character, Zoe and empathize with her lack of being able to control her own life.
Other than Zoe, there isn’t a lot of unnecessary character analysis and you are allowed to get to know them individually just as you would any real life friend. The author doesn’t push character flaws, weakness or advantages at you and allows you to make up your own mind.
The plot is slow at times but mostly it moves along. Even in the dark times, Zoe is as upbeat as she can be and seems to maintain a positive attitude about things and the people around her. I thought she was a very likable persona and I think we could be friends.
I recommend this book for its story line and possibilities.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on Sep. 23, 2011 :
I was sent this book for free by the author, this is an unbiased review.
Well, this took me half a day to read this, and am left feeling unsure about how I felt about it overall. In some ways I really enjoyed this. I love books based in Ireland, the descriptions of the small towns and country etc always make me want to visit there one day and this was no exception.
However, I felt the story was a little long-winded.
There was a lot of avid descriptions and a lot of (what I thought) meaningless information and conversations between characters.
I really liked the character of Zoe and found she was well written and very relatable. And I loved her female friends, and they had me grinning like a mad woman at some of the dialogue between them all.
I was a little confused with the love story side to this though, as I didn't really feel it. Larry is hardly ever actually in the book. He is mentioned a lot, but he isn't actually around for most of it. And I don't really understand where and how they fell in love with each other.
I also thought there would be more of a relationship between her and Brendan, and felt he drew the short straw, she wasn't all that nice to him considering how much he helped her.
The overall story was interesting and there was some very good writing here, but I do feel it was a bit longer than it should have been, at one point I did find my brain wandering elsewhere as I was reading this. But even saying this (and I know I am contradicting myself slightly) I felt I couldn't skip any chapters as I did want to keep reading to see what else happened and how it all turns out.
(reviewed 37 days after purchase)
on July 22, 2011 :
Having recently read a number of books by American authors, set in the States, it made a welcome change to read something set a bit closer to home (Ireland) and stumble across some familiar words like Tesco and Jaffa Cakes!
This was an enjoyable chick-lit set in Dublin – Zoe, a computer technician, moves there from England to get away from bad memories of an unscrupulous boyfriend. She receives a phone call one evening from the publicist of a rather engaging, colourful, and of course, good-looking TV gardener, Larry Harte, asking if she might be able to assist with the biography of his even more colourful, deceased father, who died suddenly in the mid-seventies. What connection does she have with this man, how can she possibly help and how can she resist the rather lovely Larry?
I was instantly drawn into this book, and it was not long before I got to CPID status (Couldn’t Put It Down)! The characters are well-drawn and make up a delightful mixed bag of quirky, comic, weird, and obsessive. Zoe is extremely likeable – she is patient, tolerant, funny and resolute; the circumstances leading to her departure from England are portrayed to lend her just the right amount of sympathy; facts from the past, both from 34 years ago, clarifying Zoe’s connection to Larry and from 4 years ago, revealing the start – and finish – of her relationship with her boyfriend, run neatly and smoothly alongside the narrative time and all three timeframes bring you to the end with satisfactory explanations, leaving no stone unturned.
I loved Kate’s easy-going style and the veil of gentle Irish humour made this a delightful and entertaining read. Highly recommended.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
on June 27, 2011 :
This is a good read! I nearly cried at the end, but on the way to the end there is plenty of charming Irishness, wit and humour, some serious themes and a story of empowering women.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)