Monday, October 30, 2006

Angels by Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes's sixth novel is a truly captivating story about a marriage that's gone wrong and a sensible woman who suddenly just wants to let her hair down.

"We will shortly be landing at Los Angeles International Airport. Please ensure your seat is in the upright position, that you weigh less than a hundred pounds and that you have excellent teeth."

Unlike the rest of her family, Maggie Walsh has always done everything right. Sensibly. By the book. Until the day she leaves her husband and runs away to Hollywood, that is.

In LA the primping, preening and partying are non-stop and even the palm trees are skinny. Staying with her best friend, Emily, a struggling screenwriter, Maggie starts doing things she's never done before. Like wearing tights on her head, mixing with film stars - even pitching scripts to studios - and much, much more. Including meeting the mysterious Troy, a man so non-stick he's known as Human Teflon.

Follow Maggie on a journey of discovery, from suburbia to a suntan, taking in some heartache and lots of Martinis along the way, as she discovers what she really wants in life and why she really walked out on her marriage....

This is the third book in the series focussing on the Walsh sisters, following on from Rachel's Holiday.

This really is a trademark Marian Keyes. Her ability to take a situation that is neither entertaining or funny, and turn it into an extremely poignant story that is very entertaining.

Maggie and her husband Garv have had a couple of "setbacks" over the last couple of years, and have gradually drifted apart and stopped really talking to each other. When Maggie finds out that he may have been cheating she leaves him immediately, going to stay with her parents until her best friend Emily calls her and asks her to come and stay with her in LA. Emily is a writer, trying to sell her movie script and make ends meet in a town where appearance is everything. Suddenly Maggie is masquerading as Emily's assistant, accompanying Troy to showbiz parties, attending premieres, being regroomed from head to foot and generally just trying to forget about her real life.

Maggie is thrown into a world of parties and grooming, along the way starting to loosen up a bit and take the kind of risks that she would never have usually taken. When it turns out that one of her old boyfriend's is going to be in town, it brings up many memories for Maggie, including a huge plot twist that I never saw coming! I love it when an author can surprise me so completely!

As Maggie is spending her time with a variety of characters, she gradually comes to some realisations about why her marriage faltered, and to accept some of the responsibility, as distinct from taking the blame for things beyond her control.

One of the highlights of the book was when the Walsh family descended on LA en masse - Mum and Dad, Helen and Anna....very entertaining! The next book in the series is Anybody Out There? about Anna. I already have it sitting on my shelf ready to read!

Rating 4/5

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