Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lifesaving for Beginners Readalong Part 1

Over the next couple of weeks I am participating of a readalong of Ciara Geraghty's book, Lifesaving for Beginners. The readalong was organised by Hachette AU and is being hosted by Bree from All the Books I Can Read. The fact that Bree is the host was pretty much my deciding factor as to whether I was going to join in or not (you know, bloggy friends sticking together etc etc) but so far I have to say that I have been really surprised by how much I am enjoying the book!

I am not sure what genre this is supposed to fit into. In days gone by, may have been classified as chick-lit, although I am not sure that it fits easily into that category (despite the fact that I am going to talk about it as if it does in a little while). Perhaps it is more women's fiction - whatever that means! Perhaps I should avoid trying to pigeon hole it and just get on with writing this post, and reading the book for that matter!

If, however, we are going with the chicklit label then I have to say that for some reason I really enjoy the voices of Irish writers when they write in this genre. I really like British voices too. Those two both really work for me. I have long been a fan of authors like Marian Keyes and Jill Mansell and I can definitely see myself reading more by Ciara Geraghty once I finish this book.

Right from the beginning of the book, I was engrossed in the story. It opens with a car accident involving a truck, a deer and two cars. In one car, there is Beth, the mother of 9 year old Milo, his older sister Faith and older twin brothers Adrian and Anthony. In the other car, there is Kat Kavanagh. On the surface Kat is living a normal, middle of the road kind of life, but the reality is that Kat has secrets - lots and lots and lots of secrets.

While Beth is killed, leaving her family trying to manage as best they can, Kat finds herself trying to cope after her "miracle" survival. Kat seems to not really be able to function on a day to day basis and soon it becomes clear that Milo's family have plenty of secrets of their own that are impacting on their lives daily too.

In alternate chapters we learn more about Kat and her boyfriend Thomas, her few friends, and the secret life that she has been living for many years as an uber-successful, uber-private crime writer of the Declan Darker series. I presume that in the next part of the book we are going to find out why it is that she seems so closed down emotionally, especially in relation to Thomas who has to put up with Kat's apparent disinterest in anything more than a superficial relationship.

In the other thread of narrative, we spend time with Milo as he tries to deal with the fall out from his mother's accident, the impending birth of his half sister or brother (which his dad announced at his mother's funeral - good going dad!), plus we get to see his relationship with his siblings, most especially with Faith. Faith has gone from being a big sister to having almost parental responsibility for Milo, whilst trying to maintain a relationship with her boyfriend Rob, playing in a band and studying. She is a young woman with a lot on her plate. So when she finds out that she is not precisely who she thought she was, her own world starts to become somewhat uneven as well.

I am enjoying both voices. Milo is obviously the easier of the two characters to like, but I do think I get why Kat might be so shut down emotionally. I don't however get the whole  'I am about to turn 40' disaster theme, mainly because when I turned 40 it wasn't so much that I wanted to have a meltdown, but more that I just wanted to sleep through it and wake up on the other side!

It seems obvious to me where this is going to go in terms of the link between the two main characters, beyond the initial impact of the accident. We will have to wait and see to see if I am right and if there is any subtlety in the way that this is revealed to the reader. If it does go where I think it is going to go, then it was telegraphed a fair way out.

Now, excuse me! I am off to read more of this book!


  1. I also like British and Irish Chick-Lit or Women's Fiction as well. There is something so no nonsense about it. It sounds like this book is rather compelling, but if it is as you say in the end, and it had been telegraphed so close to the beginning, I might be a little disappointed. Here's hoping that the author throws a few twists in your story!!

  2. Great post! Lol glad you decided to take part just because it was hosted by meeee! It's good that you're enjoying the book though, seems like pretty much all of us are so far.

    1. I am sure I already told you that right back when the requests went out!

  3. I'd agree that it's not chick lit and defnitely different from Geraghty's other books. Now that I've finished this, I feel it started off a bit clunky but the last third is definitely the best!