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I do love Tesco's '2 for £7' books offer because really it's like 2 books for the price of 1 based on the RRP of paperbacks these days. Bernadette Strachan's new book has been jumping off the shelf at me for a while now because of its striking burgundy and orange cover, and I just couldn't resist the other day after I had been paid! It sounded like a really nice light-hearted read, so I decided to start it that night and I just couldn't put it down. I finished it in just under 2 days, and I hope my review tells you how great I think this brilliant book is!
Ruby Gallagher thinks she has it all - a happy marriage, money and a lovely home. But everything falls quickly apart when her husband Manny is arrested for fraud, and Ruby's life as she is knows it is quickly repossessed by police. Ruby has to quickly find herself a job to pay her rent, and try to get her life back together with the help of her new friends Maria, Kendall and Teddy. But will her past secrets stop her from finding a new love? And is Manny ever going to be able to let go of Ruby once and for all?
This book is Bernadette Strachan's 5th novel, although to be honest I have not heard of her before so I didn't know at all what to expect from her work at all. I was happy to see that the recommendation on the cover came from Fiona Walker, an author I have read and enjoyed before so I thought that it was a good start already! The cover to me really stands out, and is one that definitely jumps off the shelf at you - its purple and orange cover are really attractive, and although you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I can't help myself and I did so on this occasion! The story focusses on the journey of Ruby from her marriage breakdown to building herself up again, and because of that, its quite uplifting
The book was enjoyable for a number of ways. I really enjoyed the writing style which was very natural and flowed very well, which is of course due to the talent of the author and therefore I could really get into the book incredibly quickly. It's a "proper story" in that it is written in the third person, and the readers are therefore given the opportunity to follow different threads of the story throughout, although Ruby remains the main focus of the book. There are a couple of sub-plots going on involving Ruby's friend Maria and her relationships, and the relationship of her gay best friends Kendall and Teddy, which had me crying with laughter in parts, it was so funny! The fact this book made me laugh out loud is a huge plus - not many books manage that and this one did so with ease!
For me, the character of Ruby was instantly likeable, and the journey the character took allowed the reader to feel for her and want things to work out which is crucial for a book like this that is so revolved around the person. Strachan weaves a lot of humour into the story of Ruby so although it is quite a serious set of circumstances, its easy to read because of the humour and all the better for it too. Her relationships with the other characters are also enjoyable to read, and I especially enjoyed the dynamic between her and Maria which was like reading a true friendship. I would love to see this character back again for another book because I really was sad when I turned the last page, but it just makes me look forward to reading more of Strachan's work!
If you like your chick-lit humourous, easy to read yet with a stonkingly good story too, then make sure you pick up a copy of this book. It was an absolute joy to read, and I couldn't put it down of an evening because I was totally absorbed by it. I love discovering new authors, particularly when they have a few books out because now I can go and read the rest of her books which I hope are as enjoyable as this. The easy reading style makes for a great reading experience and it is a great summer read, and one I would recommend if you're going on your hols soon for the sun lounger! Highly recommended by me, and I hope you love it as much as I did!
ISBN: 978-0751542301. Published by Sphere in April 2009. The paperback contains 400 pages, and has an RRP of £6.99.