Books 36 and 37 of my 100 book challenge
Woman to Woman
Aisling and Jo, who has been friends since their early twenties, seem to have it all in life. Aisling is married to Michael, and is the mother of twins. Jo, who chose the career path, is a successful fashion journalist, who is dating a very handsome, if irresponsible, photographer. They really seem to have it together – until Aisling finds a receipt for lingerie in her husband’s jacket she certainly didn’t receive, and Jo finds out that she is pregnant. Soon both ladies are single and rejected and have to rebuild their lives.
Aisling is forced to return to work, something she has been putting off for ages. She has to rebuild her shattered self-image, and learn how to date again, as she is all of a sudden not in the marriage she thought stable, if a little boring. When she meets Sam, he seems perfect – but is this attractive man really as good as he seems?
Jo is hurt and angered when Richard rejects their child and her. She is determined to become a successful single mother, even though she is terrified of the idea. Her family and friends are solidly behind her, but she realises how difficult life might become when she travels to New York with her attractive boss, Mark Denton. She is certain of the attraction between her and Mark, but when she confesses to be with child, he starts acting brotherly towards her. Has Mark been put off by the idea of another man’s child, or is he simply feeling lousy for hitting on a woman who has enough problems to deal with?
This book is quite old (it was published in 1997), so although there are places where it seems out of date, I really enjoyed it. It is what is expected of its genre – predictable, emotional and heart-warming. Both women win in the end, and even though they put in a whole lot of work to make it happen, you suspected the end of the story for a bit. Aisling’s eventual ending surprised and impressed me, as it really isn’t what you would expect. All in all, not bad, and I will probably read it again.
She’s the One
For Dee, life has always been riddled with issues about her weight. A big, beautiful girl, Dee only sees herself as fat, and has the low self-confidence that goes with it. When her fiancé Gary leaves her, and she doesn’t get the promotion she wanted, life seems at an all-time low. She is forced to work with Isabel, who got the job she wanted, and even though Isabel seems nice, Dee doesn’t trust her in the beginning.
Isabel returns to Ireland after her separation from her flighty husband, bringing her two daughters with her. Naomi is no problem at all, but Robin blames her mother for her parents’ separation and is impossible at best. Isabel meets Jack Carter at a office party, and is immediately drawn to the big, intelligent and kind man. The only problem is Jack is married to Elizabeth, a beautiful, drug-addicted socialite.
Will the two ladies be able to sort out their lives, and co-exist?
This book is superior to Woman to Woman because it tackles so many issues – Affairs, weight, money, and bullying at the workplace. Cathy Kelly manages to write Dee as a self-consious girl who only needs to realise her own power, and eventually does. She brings Isabel lovely to the book as well – a struggling mother who has to cope with her own grief, financial troubles, and a new relationship which promises to bring more stress than all her other issues combined. Each topic of the book is explored lovely without making the book boring or stretched out. Well done, Ms Kelly!