Over the half-term my parents and I went on a lazy poolside holiday in Oman. Of course, this presented a wonderful opportunity to read, something I never seem to be able to find time for here, so now I will share with you a couple of reviews. I enjoyed both books, but with future newspaper articles in mind I had better show some kind of critical analysis. Here goes… Luc
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca WellsThis book can only be described as different. The author cleverly interweves the story of Sidda – a 40-something New Yorker in the midst of a midlife crisis – and that of her mother Vivi’s somewhat exuberant past. The result is a disturbing, heartwarming and sad account of a family’s battle to come to terms with its own failures. The Ya-Yas, Vivi’s life long girlfriends, give humour and sentimentality to the sometimes unforgiving plot line.
I must admit that the events that unfold are sometimes not explained and the character are left looking woefully melodramatic – often to the point of the ridiculous. Sidda seems emotionally detached from the very things that should cause a reaction, and then reaches great revelations from not very much at all; but then again I liked this quirkiness. it makes the book interesting. I was certainly never tempted to skip a few pages.
For someone my age – and perhaps of my reading experience (which is a mixture of CHERUB and chic-flick) – this book is a real eye-opener. The reader is plunged into deep issues and light humour in equal measure; as a new, grown-up world is revealed. Nothing is simple for Sidda and Vivi but they get through. The writer gently helps us through considering our own relationships, while entertaining us every step of the way.
The Old Girl Network by Catherine Alliott
This is a great holiday read – easy to read, exciting and funny – what more could a girl ask for in a book? Reading the blurb in Waterstone’s, I was pretty sure that I could have told you the plot there and then. Well, I don’t say this often, but I was completely wrong. This is not a typical romance. Action mixes with love and betrayal, heartbreak with bumbling comedy. I can’t explain without giving the whole thing away, but take it from a girl who has read a lot of chic-flick – this is a good book. The second in the series is most definitely on my Christmas list.