Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: "The Woman Who Stole My Life" by Marian Keyes

Stella Sweeney, mom of two trying to get her life back, has always believed in the power of karma. One day she tries to do a good deed and the car crash that happens as a result has the power to change her life. She meets a man that day who turns up in her life later on when she least expects it and who has the ability to change her from ordinary Stella into the Stella of her dreams.

Life as Stella is just not that easy, though. She has a child who hates her (and pretty much everyone else), an ex-husband determined to become famous at any cost, and a best friend who isn't what she seems. Will Stella come to curse the car crash that changed her life or will she learn to embrace all of the weird and wonderful things that have happened to her as a result?

I would read anything that Marian Keyes has written, including a grocery list, but the plot of The Woman Who Stole My Life is in turns brilliant and moving, making it a pleasure to read. This book certainly appears to be more autobiographical than most of her novels. I follow her on several social networks and as a result I have an idea of the kind of things that Keyes has been struggling with over the last few years, and I saw some of those things evident within the pages of this novel. The parallels were interesting, and I feel that they gave us a glimpse into the woman behind the books. That made this book interesting in a different way from her previous releases.

Keyes also moves the plot of this book throughout several different time periods of Stella's life.We see her pre-accident as well as post-accident, and somehow the movement through time periods is effortless and I never found myself confused as to which time period we were currently in. I appreciated this technique as it gave us, as readers, insight into the role that this one accident managed to play in Stella's life and how one moment can have the power to change everything.

While in many ways The Woman Who Stole My Life is different from Keyes' previous releases, in other ways the author's voice remains the same, making this an enjoyable read for both new fans as well as die hard ones. The characters were well thought-out and unique (although exasperating at times!), the plot easy to follow and enjoyable, and within the pages Stella's emotions were evident. It was an excellent read and I'm glad that one of my favourite authors is back writing fiction again. My thanks to Penguin UK and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy!

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