Saturday, November 26, 2005
Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
This is the third Marian Keyes book I have read this year and I think it is my favourite. For the record the others were Sushi for Beginners and The Other Side of the Story.
Three thirtyish friends who grew up in rural Ireland are now living in London. All seem to be successful and yet they aren't all happy. Tara is a computer programmer who lives with an emotionally stunted Yorkshireman, Katherine is an accountant in an advertising agency who doesn't seem to know how to be intimate with anyone. Fintan works in fashion and seems to be the only one who is happy. He has a job he loves and lives with his boyfriend Sandro.
The book opens when they are meeting up for a boozy lunch to celebrate Tara's 31st birthday, and then proceeds to follow their lives for an eventful year. Not long after the lunch Fintan finds out that he has cancer, and at one of his worst points he asks the girls to do things for themselves that will make them happy. For Tara, this means leaving her emotionally abusive boyfriend Thomas and for Katherine, who is called Ice Queen by her colleagues at work, this means letting down some barriers and allowing herself to get close to someone, to let a man into her life! For both of them though, they couldn't think of anything worse to be asked to do. Tara is terrified of being left alone, and Katherine is terrified of not being left alone!
Also threading through the story, are the exploits of Lorcan Larkin, fading actor who was famous in Ireland and set off to conquer the world, but then ended up being a has been in both the US and the UK..well, more precisely a never was! Lorcan's tale almost intersects with the girls at various points in the story. At first I didn't get why Lorcan's story was even there but all was revealed by the end of the book.
One of the things that I like about Marian Keyes books is that whilst they are laugh out loud funny, they do deal with serious issues, and deal with them well. She is also not afraid to not have a happy ending for all of her characters.
I am becoming a fan of Marian Keyes work, and will definitely be reading more from her in the future.
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