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Paddy de Courcy is a rising political star in Ireland, with all the good looks and charisma of a Kennedy. Unfortunately, en route to realizing his political ambitions--a course culminating with his engagement to the "correct" political wife-to-be, Alicia--he's used and discarded several women. This novel's points of view alternate among four such women, and their distinct voices--e.g., when Lola narrates, it is without pronouns--make what might otherwise be a complicated story much easier to follow. For this is Keyes (Anybody Out There?), queen of chick-lit-with-a-purpose, and this time around, that purpose is examining, through her characters, a myriad of women's issues, primarily abuse and power. Lola, Paddy's most recent discard, is a fashion stylist who dresses Ireland's richest and most influential women. Grace is a journalist in a healthy relationship who also has a past with Paddy, as does her sister, Marnie, now married with children and amid some sort of breakdown. Together, these women's narratives form a sort of cacophony, until the individual melodies eventually weave together, creating a lovely yet engrossing story with an ending that should inspire women everywhere. Despite the Irishness of her setting and characters, Keyes explores universal themes that will resonate with readers. Her latest is highly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/08.]--Stacy Alesi, Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In her densest, most ambitious work yet, chick lit specialist Keyes (Sushi for Beginners) pushes into dark territory, exploring alcoholism, depression and domestic violence with authenticity and even offbeat humor. When Paddy de Courcy, "Ireland's most eligible politician," announces his engagement, the news breaks hearts all over Dublin. Lola Daly, a celebrity stylist who has been dating him for the past 16 months, is the most heartbroken of all and retreats to County Clare. Meanwhile, Dublin reporter Grace Gildee remembers Paddy from their college years, when he had a chaotic, codependent relationship with her twin sister, Marnie. Grace digs a little, and as the true extent of Paddy's capacity for evil is revealed, Grace moves to stop him--and to finally teach him a lesson. To do so, she must make fragile Marnie revisit the most painful years of her life and engineer Lola's return to Dublin. Dry wit and distinctive narrative voices add levity and balance to a sad set of life circumstances. Pages will fly like wafting hankies toward the stunning, breathless conclusion. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.