Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review: The Break

By Melissa Amster

Amy's husband Hugh isn't really leaving her.

At least, that's what he promises. He is just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. For six-months Hugh will lose himself in south-east Asia, and there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . .

It's been a long time since Amy held a briefcase in one hand and a baby in the other. She never believed she'd have to go it alone again. She just has to hold the family together until Hugh comes back.

But a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman?

Because falling in love is easy. The hard part - the painful, joyous, maddening, beautiful part - is staying in love.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

I’ve always been a fan of Marian Keyes, ever since I picked up Watermelon in 1999. She is one of the reasons why I started this blog. When I found out that she had a new book published, I knew I had to get my hands on it right away and read it as soon as possible.

I love how Marian creates these large families for her characters and that some of them have interesting quirks and personality traits. Not only does Amy have a bunch of siblings, but she also is a mother to three girls (even though one isn’t even hers). I think I enjoyed the family gathering parts of this story the most.

The story itself is compelling, although very long. There are scenes from the present, as well as a lot of flashbacks that explain why Amy feels the way she does in the present. However, I felt she could be rather inconsistent and sometimes hypocritical. I felt lukewarm toward her most of the time, even when she was feeling incredibly sad. Amy is interesting overall and I wish I could see what she was wearing because she has such unique fashion tastes.

I liked the interactions between characters and seeing how the story unfolded, as I had no idea how things would turn out. I also appreciated the shout-out for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Amy and I have that in common, at least.) There is one part I wish hadn’t taken place, but it impacted another part of the story. Although I’m sure there could have been different ways to go about the latter if they changed the part I wasn’t so keen over.

If you are a Marian Keyes fan, you will appreciate the same things I did about The Break. I can tell she put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it. It is an entertaining read, overall. If you have never read her books before (and why haven’t you?!?), I would suggest starting with one of her earlier novels and understanding her writing style and character developments before embarking on this one.

Of course, I was trying to cast this in my head (there are a lot of characters, so I probably won’t get to them all):
Amy: Emily Mortimer
Hugh: Gerard Butler
Maura: Maria Doyle-Kennedy
Josh: Christian Bale
Alastair: Ed Weeks
Neeve: Bonnie Wright
Sofie: Ella Wahlestedt
Kiara: Bel Powley
Derry: Rachel Weisz
Lilian (Mum): Ann Margret

Thanks to Michael Joseph for the book in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

The Book Sage said...

I'm a big fan of Emily Mortimer. I met her once in New York. She was studying a script. Turns out that it was for The Newsroom, which Joni and I absolutely loved.