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4.6 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Life Behind The Curtains

    I am constantly bemused by how well Irish authors manage to convey the human condition so well. this is another in that seam of books that deals with real people, quite boring ordinary people and makes them seem extraordinary. It reminds us all that what happens behind that front door, those closely closed curtains is not necessarily what we would imagine. The bright glow of the TV screen, the subtle hue of a lamp casting it's puddle of light, perfectly normal and yet the events around it may be anything but. Dealing with four disparate women all struggling with life at different stages, this book brings every day to life and paints it in glowing tones. We first meet Susan, a middle aged woman struggling to get past a tragic event and not dealing with it in the best of ways. Her torment leaps off the page and in to your heart as the true depths of her emotional damage steadily unfold on the page (and this is just in the first chapter). Then there is school girl Melissa, desperately trying to make everyone believe that everything is all okay at home when it is far, far from that. Widowed Jayne looking to reinvigorate her life and not sure how to get out of her rut. Nancy running from her previous life and struggling to find somewhere to settle in a new city, a new country come to that. The link between these four women is the peaceful Primrose Square in the centre of Dublin City. Slowly it works it's calm magic over them and helps them to reach some sort of resolution to their problems. Not in a completely fantastic, reversal of firtunes way but in a support network way. It is a book that envelops you in a warm hug and gives you hope that no matter how bleak things may seem there is always a brighter day to look forward to. My only niggles with it where we had to wait an awfully long time to find out why Susan was so adamant that the neighbours son was responsible for her daughter's death. I can understand the need to build tension and it did come out in a relatively believable fashion and only when the character was ready to face up to the events that led to losing her eldest child. The worst one was waiting to find out why Nancy had felt pushed out of her career and life in London. It is very near to the end of the book when this is revealed and it not something earth shattering in the great scheme of things. Personally shattering and professionally damaging I can see (had this been the real world and not a fictional one) but not as major as she has built it up to be. The true heart of the book though is the people. They are all beautifully wrought - even relatively minor characters live and breathe within the pages and I did genuinely feel drawn in to the world Ms Carroll has created. It is only my innate nosiness and "need to know" being deferred time and time again that led to me only giving this 4 Stars. It is a joyous read and I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about flawed characters that could so easily be real. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.

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  • GreAt read

    A great summer read, nice twists and turns. Excellent characters

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