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Search tags: Roisin-Meaney
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review 2017-12-28 16:15
I'll Be Home for Christmas
I'll Be Home for Christmas - Roisin Meaney

Wow. I did not like this book at all. This is the third book taking place on the Island of Roone. I am a sucker for series books and this one just turned into a mess. Maybe because the story just focuses on two characters (Laura and Tilly). I just had a hard time with how things worked out in this book, and also how we just heard about but never saw characters. I maybe rolled my eyes at how Nell's stepson seemed to just walk into a room and some teen girl falls for him (just like in book #2). Though it was a Christmas book, it barely figured into this story I thought.

 

Laura has dealt with some tragic things in the two years we have seen this character. She had another baby and is constantly fighting with her husband Gavin. She seems to hate the air he breathes and is angry that he invited his mother to visit before the holidays. Laura is a pill in this almost until the end. You find out what is going on with her and why she's acting the way she is, but I started to run out of sympathy for her at the halfway point.

 

Tilly was born and raised in Australia. You initially don't get who she is, but Meaney lets you know after a few chapters why Tilly is so focused on getting to Ireland and Roone. Tilly just makes a terrible decision after terrible decision. I also didn't get her parents in this book. They barely felt present to me. Considering everything that Tilly is involved with before she leaves Australia, I had a hard time buying her parents would let her leave the country during Christmas.

 

We get some sightings of Nell, James, and Jame's son. We hear about characters such as Eve and Nell's father. I felt disappointed in this one, cause Laura and Tilly are not that exciting on their own.

 

The book dragged for me until the very end when things magically get wrapped up. I thought there was too much going on in this one though. We get storms, a death, fighting every five seconds, etc. I just thought it was too much to read about happening in just a few days.

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review 2017-12-28 16:06
After The Wedding
After the Wedding by Roisin Meaney (18-Sep-2014) Paperback - Roisin Meaney

So I didn't realize this was a sequel to an earlier book. I was able to follow along quite easily though since there are callbacks to book #1 throughout this book. I wish that I had liked it more, but it just was way too long and dragged in a lot of parts.

 

"After the Wedding" is told in the third person and we get to follow several characters who live in or are someone related to inhabitants of the island of Roone.

 

Nell is preparing to finally marry James (they were in book #1). Nell initially dated James's brother Tim, but now the two of them are together. And Tim ended up marrying Nell's long time pen pal (this whole book is so incestuous).

 

Nell's mother has been gone about two years and she is still missing her every day and devastated that she is gone. Nell and James are happy though until James's brother Tim comes back to Roone seemingly hell bent on ruining things for the two of them.

We also follow Laura who has turned Walter's home into a B&B. Living with her partner Gavin, her two twin sons, and expecting another set, Laura is content with how things are with Gavin. She doesn't want to marry again since she feels like she already married the love of her life who died and she doesn't feel that way about Gavin.

 

Nell's father is realizing that though he walked away from his marriage, his affair with the other woman is not all it's cracked up to be.

 

Imelda and Hugh are now going to be foster parents. They get a teen girl called Eve who does her best to keep them at arm's length for pretty good reasons.

 

We also have a plot that kind of ties things together with a young girl who goes missing. It turns the island upside down with many people scared that something dark and ugly could happen there.

 

I found myself most interested in Eve's story. No spoilers, but it was heartbreaking.

I didn't find myself engaged at all with Laura. I actually found her offputting with how she kept thinking and talking about Gavin. I wouldn't have blamed him for running off.

 

I honestly felt baffled about why Nell didn't tell James's she was uncomfortable about his brother being around.

 

The writing was okay. I am used to Meaney's writing at this point. I have read three other of her books. I just thought honestly that going from character to character hurt this book. Since this book is set up to be a sequel of the first book and is supposedly about Jame's brother not wanting to let go of Nell, that whole story-line barely figures in the first half of the book. When it comes up, it is dealt with in a few chapters and not very well I have to say.

 

The ending left things up in the air for many of the characters which is why I got book #3 in this series.

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review 2017-12-28 15:51
The Last Week of May
The Last Week of May - Roisin Meaney

Wow. I can see why many are calling Roisin Meaney the new Maeve Binchy. I really enjoyed this one a lot.

 

We get to follow a cast of characters through one week taking place in the Kilpatrick, Ireland. Not everyone gets a happy ending, and some people still seem to be obtuse as hell at the end of the book, but I really enjoyed this one.

 

The main characters are:

 

May, dealing with heartbreak, moved to Kilpatrick and doing odd jobs to support herself and her father.

 

Pam, takes care of May's father while she is out at work and is dealing with some things with her husband Jack which are causing her to be worried about their future.

 

Bernard who is the local florist and scared that someone is out to get him and his live in lover are a couple who are dealing with someone who is focused on hurting them because they are gay.

 

Paddy who is in love with May though he's never formally met her.

 

Paul who is ready to throw away his life due to a fling.

 

Carmel who is obsessed with Paul.

 

Marjorie who doesn't know how to talk to her daughter anymore.

 

There are some other characters that we get to see in this one, but I don't want to spoil too much. I really did enjoy everyone (even the characters who were doing terrible things).

 

The writing was really good and I got a kick out of following these characters for a full week. I loved the ins and outs of everyone and how everything ends up being connected in the end around a single event.

 

The flow actually is good in this one even though we go back and forth between characters. Meaney does a good job with everyone's voices so no character sounds exactly like the other one. She also helpfully makes sure she calls out who is "speaking" when the passage switches between people. I didn't find that necessary though to include due to how different everyone sounds.

 

The setting of Kilpatrick felt small at times, but I think it was supposed to due to us following about 10 characters (here and there) throughout the book.

 

I loved how the ending we get leaves things up in the air, but we can guess what happens next. I would love to read about this group in a sequel someday.

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review 2017-09-27 21:22
Just Boring
The Street Where You Live - Roisin Meaney

This is going to be short and sweet. Just pass on this book. I read two other books by this author and enjoyed them. I hoped this would be good too. But this reads like a very rough rough first draft. Things are not fleshed out enough by far for half the characters. Things are not really resolved, I guess the author wants us to imagine how things will go. And way too many characters in this with no one taking a form hold in my brain.

 

I was actually surprised to get to the end considering how endless the book seemed to be on the plane.

 

The book takes place over the summer and involves members of an amateur choir and those who are connected to them. So at one point I think we have Molly and Emily (mother and daughter) the choir director Christopher and his neighbor (Freddie) and her daughter, Emily's handyman friend Clem. I feel like there is someone else I am blanking on, but I won't go and look it back up.

 

I don't know what else to get into except nothing flows together right at all. Each character has major issues that they needed to see a therapist about. I didn't care about Christopher and thought he was awful. Emily was way too naive and kind of a jerk about a guy who seemed to like her. Molly was too focused on her son that she had not seen in years. I thought Clem was okayish, but we don't get to spend much time with him.

 

I just felt like this written more as short stories about people living in the same town. I think that if Meaney had pulled a Binchy (write about people who live near each other in a small town) with some small connections here and there, but we get to follow their stories through it would have worked better. The way this was written we just get some barely there development of characters and rush to an ending. 

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review 2015-06-21 00:00
The People Next Door
The People Next Door - Roisin Meaney Ta dah! I have finished with all of my re-read updates. I read this book sometime around 2013 I think. I happened to download a sample of this book and found myself drawn in around the many characters that lived on Miller's Avenue.

Even though there are only three houses that we read about in this book, we actually follow several characters.

At number 7 we have Yvonne widowed for a large number of years and her teenage daughter, Clara.

At number 8 we have Dan dealing with his wife leaving him for his uncle (you read that right) and him taking on a roommate.

At number 9 we have happily wedded couple Kathryn and Justin. The only fly in their happiness is that Justin's mother Grainne dislikes Kathryn for being older than him and does what she can to undermine Kathryn at ever turn.

I really did enjoy Kathryn's story the most. I think in the end she truly out of the whole cast of characters got her happily ever after.

I think that was because ultimately the endings with Yvonne and Dan were not the most satisfying to the romantic in me. I think I disliked Yvonne's the most because in the end the way her story came about was that someone else was going to be hurt.

You also read about how Yvonne's marriage was not a marriage based on love, but on necessity. I don't know what it is with certain romance books when they have a widowed person. Either the person's dead spouse was a saint or was awful. I don't know if the writer does that so the reader is rooting for the person and the new love or what. I just know that it irks me. A lot. The worst romance book I have read where the widower just up and went and did a 180 who acted as if he never heard of love before he met his new love interest was Obsidian Blue review of The Hero. I still to this day tell my friends if they want to read a book about moving on mere moments after his wife died, here's a story for them.

I did think that the writing was very good and the pacing was too. The plots really did twine together quite well the further along you read. I don't like it when I read a book set up the same way and it feels like the characters are just inhabiting the same book together, but don't really have much to do with one another.

In the end this really is what I consider a perfect beach read. A plot that keeps you engaged enough, with a lot of characters that keeps things interesting.
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