- Fizzy Thoughts: Apart from the Crowd

Apart from the Crowd

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Apart from the Crowd
Anna McPartlin
August 2008
448 pages

Product Description (from amazon)

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.

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.

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?

6 comment(s):

Beth F said...

I'm a sucker for an Irish setting (not setter). Thanks for the review; not sure if I'll pick this one up or not.

Dar said...

I love an Irish setting too. This one doesn't sound too bad. I have Pack Up The Moon but haven't yet read it. Big surprise hey. lol.

cali said...

A setting in Ireland gains my interest too. Is it me, or does it seem publishers have figured this out? Seems there are an increasing number of novels set in Ireland.

softdrink said...

Well, it's now in the book closet, so maybe one of you will get the opportunity to take it off my hands. :-D

Ladytink_534 said...

Small town life is great in some ways and I usually love books or series set in them then I'm reminded about the flip side of small towns and I'm so glad I've never lived in one. Love Ireland so I don't blame you for picking it up based on that lol.

Ramya said...

I have never read a book with an Irish setting (actually, i might have.. i just don't remember)..but this book actually sounds pretty nice.. i might want to read this sometime!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

  © Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to top