Unlike the rest of her family, Maggie Walsh has always done everything right. Sensibly. By the book. Until the day she leaves her husband and runs away to Hollywood, that is.
In LA the primping, preening and partying are non-stop and even the palm trees are skinny. Staying with her best friend, Emily, a struggling screenwriter, Maggie starts doing things she’s never done before. Like wearing tights on her head, mixing with film stars – even pitching scripts to studios – and much, much more. Including meeting the mysterious Troy, a man so non-stick he’s known as Human Teflon.
Follow Maggie on a journey of discovery, from suburbia to a suntan, taking in some heartache and lots of Martinis along the way, as she discovers what she really wants in life and why she really walked out of her marriage…
If you have never read a Marian Keyes novel…you really are missing out on some of the best fluffy, humourous chick-lit out there. A few of her novels are based around the Walsh family, a quirky, dysfunctional, yet very loving family who will have you laughing out loud one moment and tearing up the next.
Maggie is one of the five Walsh girls…level-headed, sensible and married to her high school sweetheart, Paul Garvan. But Maggie’s calm little world is turned upside down when Maggie suspects Garv has been unfaithful, and while he doesn’t admit to it, he doesn’t deny it either. On top of that, Maggie loses her job. Hightailing it to the family home, moping for days…Maggie decides to leave her problems behind in Ireland for awhile and visit her best friend Emily in LA. Time with her bestie in the sunny climate of Southern California is just what she needs to get her head on straight. Right?
Not exactly. Maggie doesn’t get quite what she expected. Emily is an aspiring screenwriter, and is too stressed out planning a pitch to a movie exec to give Maggie the carefree fun and relaxation she was looking for. Emily has Maggie pretend to be her assistant to lend credibility, and so Maggie’s tour of The Business begins…lending credence that everyone in LA is an aspiring actor, writer or producer wanna be. Maggie is introduced to Emily’s friends, which include Lara the Lesbian and Troy the Bad News Boy. Emily isn’t the only piece of home in LA…Shay Delaney, a blast from Maggie’s past (essentially the one who got away) lives there and works in the industry for a film company.
In the midst of all this, Maggie provides us flashbacks of her marriage with Garv and what led to their marital demise. Though she left for LA convinced that their marriage had drawn it’s last breath, a phone call from home confirming Maggie’s suspicions about Garv’s infidelity is a wicked blow. Memories of her marriage with Garv, Bad Boy Troy and Blast from the Past Shay all serve to muddle the mix, leaving us to question where Maggie will find her true happiness.
As with all of Keyes heroines, I found myself truly caring for Maggie and her plight amidst the LA stereotypes and ridiculous situations that Maggie constantly found herself in. Maggie is sweet, intelligent and funny as hell. We are also treated to a visit from the Walsh family which is always an exasperating, hilarious and loving experience.
As I’d packed, the night before I left Ireland, I’d told Anna and Helen. “My life is over.”
“It’s not.” Anna had been very visibly distressed.
“Don’t patronize her,” Helen had urged.
“You’ll meet someone else – you’re young,” Anna said doubtfully
“Ah, she’s not really,” Helen interjected. “Not at thrity-three.”
“And you’re good-looking,” Anna struggled on.
“You know, she’s not bad,” Helen admitted grudgingly. “You have nice hair. And your skin isn’t bad. For your age.”
“All that clean living,” Anna said.
“All that clean living,” Helen echoed solemnly.
In Maggie’s trip down memory lane, we also get a picture of Garv, a sweet, down-to-earth guy whom you typically wouldn’t want to like in this type of situation…which was something I was not expecting. All in all, a very enjoyable and fluffy read full of heart.