About the Book
They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys.
Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it.
Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .
Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.
In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?
What I thought
As are most Marian Keyes books, this is a long read at over 600 pages. Covering a relatively short period of time in the lives of the extended Casey family there’s certainly plenty going on between the pages to keep the reader entertained.
The story starts out with the family gathered together to celebrate Johnny’s birthday where Cara, his sister-in-law suddenly starts speaking her mind, no holds barred after a previous fall causes her concussion. From there the book goes back over time giving the background to all the members of the family and the dynamics of their relationship with each other. Eventually it comes full circle back to the events of that rather disastrous birthday party.
Jessie has assumed the position of matriarch in the family. She earns a good living from her restaurants and likes to share her wealth by paying for her family to accompany her on luxurious holidays, parties and general get-togethers. Her husband Johnny also works in the family business, though what his actual official position is I don’t think we ever really find out.
It did take me a while to get into this book. I’d estimate I had read at least a third of the book before I finally decided to stick with it and read it to the end. I didn’t like Jessie and even as I reached the end I still never really grew to have much sympathy for her. I had more sympathy for her husband Johnny, as he worshipped Jessie and everything he did was to please her. Most of the characters from the Casey family were quite insecure people, and as a result of their insecurities and low self esteem did a fair bit of whinging if I’m honest. Or maybe I’m just not a very sympathetic reader, who knows.
For me it was Nell married to Liam, the youngest of the Casey brothers who gave saving grace to the beginning of the book. I liked Nell as she was the most down-to-earth of the characters in the family. She had her head screwed on, knew what she wanted from life and often felt somewhat uncomfortable at the amount of money Jessie lavished on everyone.
Once I’d got into the book I did enjoy it very much, once again showing me that perseverance and a bit of patience pays off. It’s a story of family dynamics, and insecurity. I preferred the younger characters, Nell and Ferdia. They were very likeable whereas the older ones, especially the women just kind of annoyed me really. I did actually think it was time they grew up, especially Jessie.
Overall I found it a compelling read once I’d got past the initial stages of the book, with humour, chaos and interesting story lines being the trade mark of a good Marian Keyes novel.
♥ Happy Reading ♥
Thank you to the publisher Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for a review copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review