What She Wants by Cathy Kelly

What She Wants by Cathy Kelly (2009) might have made the list of my favorite books if the story hadn't, at 592 pages, dragged on about twice as long as I really think was necessary. I like layered stories about multiple women, and I like stories set in Ireland, but this one had too much detail to really hold my attention.

Hope Parker and her family move to fictional Irish town Redlion when husband Matt decides to take a year to write his first book, the Next Great Novel, of course. Hope's the one who actually finds her place in tiny Redlion, while Matt struggles, something he chooses not to share with Hope. Lack of communication? Yep, marriage troubles ahead.

My favorite of the other various characters, all fairly well-developed, is Hope's sister, Sam, probably because I could relate to her. There's a woman on the brink of a serious midlife crisis, and even being a successful music producer leaves her feeling empty and searching for more. More, but what? Amen to that.

I went in hoping for a Maeve Binchy-like saga, and Kelly compares fairly well to Binchy. Again, if she could have compressed time and details a bit, I'd have been a very happy reader.

Learn more about the author and her other works at her site.

My overall personal rating of What She Wants is a C+.


Anonymous said…
592 pages is a bit of a saga. Perhaps Kelly might have used a more stringent editor?
holdenj said…
I hate it when books are too long!

And it would have been nice to find a Binchy like storyteller.
Carrie said…
Sorry for posting on an older review, but I recently finished reading this novel and was wondering what other people thought.

I quite enjoyed this one! I enjoy long books as long as the story isn't dragging on, and I didn't think this did.

Gonna browse your blog. Happy Reading!

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