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Friday, November 10, 2017

Day 51: Book review – The Break by Marian Keyes

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 51: Book review – The Break by Marian Keyes

With Marian Keyes’ books, you never know what you’re going to get. Some books are great, especially ‘The woman who stole my life’ and ‘The brightest star in the sky’, others are downright disappointing, such as ‘The mystery of Mercy Close’ and ‘Lucy Sullivan is getting married.’

And then there’s Marian Keyes’ latest book … ‘The Break’. With ‘The Break’ she really dropped the ball. It’s not just disappointing, it is so far below level, one can’t even see the level anymore. It’s like her publisher wanted a new manuscript from her, she had zero inspiration, so she wrote about herself and her family.

The main character is Amy, a short, slightly overweight woman, with an obsession with makeup and shoes. Just like Marian.

The story of ‘The Break’ is that Amy’s husband Hugh wants a six-month break from their marriage to go whoring around South-East Asia. Of course, he doesn’t say that, he says that he needs to find himself and that he wants to go backpacking. But if it was about hiking and backpacking he had on his mind, he could do that in Switzerland, Alaska or Greenland. But no, he’s going to South-East Asia.

He states that he still loves his wife and that he will come back, but for now, he wants complete physical and sexual freedom and nothing and nobody can stop him.

This brushed me up the wrong way from the start. What woman in her right mind would stand for this? I can tell you one thing, if my husband informed me that he wanted a six-month break from our marriage, to visit South-East Asia with free sexual reign, I would tell him he could go and not bother coming back.

Not only is it bad enough that he could sleep with anything on two legs, but who knows what kind of diseases he would come home with. And I would have to welcome him back in my bed … OH HELL NO!!! This is something Marian Keyes didn’t think of. She lives in a world where Aids and other STDs don’t exist.

When I got to page 87, I did something I've never done ... I skipped to the end to see if Amy takes her cheating husband back. If Amy, during the course of Hugh's six-month absence, hooked up with another guy and decided to give her cheating husband the boot, I would have finished the book, I would have continued reading. But no, he comes back, he promises to never do it again, and like a good little girl, she takes the bastard back.

Please, give me a break. Is that how Marian Keyes sees the modern woman … as a complete idiot? Maybe she is, but I wonder how many women would stand for such betrayal with or without sexually transmitted diseases?

As for the writing style of ‘The Break’ … the critics claim that the book is witty, full of laughs and wisecracks. Really? I found Marian Keyes’ wisecracks downright silly.

Here’s the thing … if one occasionally makes a joke it’s funny. If everything is turned into a joke, it gets annoying. I can best compare it to food. You might like fresh fries, ice cream, or cheesecake, but if you had to eat these foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, chances are you would soon tire of them.

The critics aside, let see what Marian Keyes readers have to say about ‘The Break’. There are those who rave about the story, but I tend to agree more with these reviews:

Only got about halfway through and couldn't go on. The main character is too much of a doormat for me.

I have loved all her books until this one. Her books are usually full of warmth and humor, but they were entirely missing in this one. She fills her stories with lovable quirky characters but in this one they are quirky without being lovable (or even likeable). Amy is shallow, immature, whiny, complaining, self-centered, self-pitying and manipulative. Most of Keyes' characters have been young people however in this book Amy is 44 but acts like she's still 20. Hugh's story would have been much more interesting. I hope Keyes isn't starting another series about a family - no one in this one was worth reading more about.

I usually enjoy Marian Keyes novels but this one just irritated from the start. I thought the premise of the book was ridiculous and Amy's reaction unbelievable. Very little happens and I was left feeling that I just wanted to give her a good talking too. I also felt that the other characters could have been developed more as they were way more interesting that dull Amy and duller Hugh. 

This last review sums it up perfectly.

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