Real Life Is Messy
The novel is written in the first person from the point of view of forty something Amy. The reader ‘experiences’ life through her eyes. We ‘feel’ life crushing her down – the weight of children, parents, work and life in general.
The love of a mother radiates throughout the novel. We become acquainted with Amy’s heart and recognise the great love and fierce protection she has for her children.
Grief can have far reaching effects. The reader views this from afar, and although detached ourselves, we ‘feel’ saddened at how life is progressing for some of the characters.
Self preservation motivates people to behave in ways they would not usually. Bricking up one’s heart to keep out pain is a primative and understandable instinct.
The novel deals with topics such as mid life crisis, dementia and abortion which is illegal in Ireland where the novel is set. As well as eating disorders and sexual promiscuity.
Up to date references to television programmes and stars give the novel a contemporary and familiar feel. Marian Keyes has certainly presented an epic read on modern day life.
The novel, for me, had far too many bedroom scenes, in far too much detail for me to feel comfortable. I did end up skipping chunks of the novel. However this did not detract from the actual story as a whole which was a comprehensive read on life, love and family. The pressures of modern life can swamp people in their daily battle to survive but I was left with a feeling of hope and new beginnings.