Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Product Description (from amazon)
Okay, ignore the sappiness in the description, because the book isn't as bad as the above synopsis makes it sound. And I wouldn't say the gossip runs rampant, either. Thank goodness. Because I must confess I bought the book because it's set in Ireland, and I lust after Ireland. Although there wasn't a whole lot of Ireland in the book. This was definitely a character driven novel.
In a little Irish town like Kenmare, there's no need to worry whether people will discover your secrets. They already have.
For Mary, that means being remembered for her tragic losses, even if she'd rather get on with her life. For her cousin Ivan, as close as a brother, the gossip is all about how his wife took the kids and ran off with her new lover. For Mary's friend Penny, it's an old romance that didn't work out quite right, and a current affair with a bottle of vodka.
Then Sam Sullivan rents the cottage next door to Mary, and within hours the whole town is talking about the film-star-handsome American. When Sam hurts his back while helping his new neighbor and spends the next week confined to a mattress on her floor, gossip runs rampant. But neither Kenmare nor Mary know about the secrets Sam is so successfully hiding....
For Mary's circle of friends, Sam's arrival marks more than one change. And Mary -- whose unlucky history has kept her apart from the crowd much of her life -- has finally found a man with whom she feels she might truly connect. But so long as both are captive to memories they dare not reveal, the past is a barrier that will keep them forever alone.
In this powerful novel, Anna McPartlin perfectly captures the drama, the emotion, and the laughter of a small Irish community, for those who fit in -- and those who don't. Apart from the Crowd mixes wit and insight to create an engrossing tale that will keep you reading to the very last page.
When I first started this book I was a bit annoyed. I was expecting a story focusing on Sam and Mary. And Sam was interesting from the get-go. But Ivan and Penny and Adam and even Mr. Monkels (the dog) kept interrupting. Luckily, at about the halfway point, the story started to even out and it wasn't so jarring to skip between the characters. In fact, Sam became less interesting and Ivan and Penny more so. And Mary? Although the main character, she was never quite as intriguing as the others.
Anna McPartlin has also written Pack Up the Moon, a book that has spent a lot of time of those tables I always walk by at Borders. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up that book and put it down. Has anyone read it?