Saturday, 2 November 2013

An Englishwoman in New York - Ann-Marie Casey


About the book…
Anne-Marie Casey is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Her film and TV scripts have been produced in the UK and Ireland and her theatrical adaptations of Little Women and Wuthering Heights enjoyed sell-out runs at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. No One Could Have Guessed the Weather, her first book, was an international bestseller. She is married to the novelist Joseph O'Connor. They live in Dublin, Ireland, with their two sons.

When Lucy's husband loses his job and is relocated to New York, she is forced to give up her posh London life and move to a tiny Manhattan apartment. Homesick and resentful at first, Lucy soon finds herself embarking on an exhilarating new affair - no, not with her husband, although she is surprised to find they do still love each other, but with the city itself and the three women she meets at the school gates who, against all odds, become her friends.

Christy, married to a wealthy older man, questions her life choice as she fantasises about her doorman and tries to make peace with her angry stepdaughter. Julia is a workaholic television writer who becomes convinced her family is better off without her, until a neighbour's dog makes her re-think everything. Meanwhile Robyn, bread-winning wife to an aspiring novelist, has had enough. She wants what her friends are having - even if it means an affair with at least one, if not all, of their husbands.

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About the author… 
Anne-Marie Casey is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Her film and TV scripts have been produced in the UK and Ireland and her theatrical adaptations of Little Women and Wuthering Heights enjoyed sell-out runs at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. No One Could Have Guessed the Weather, her first book, was an international bestseller. She is married to the novelist Joseph O'Connor. They live in Dublin, Ireland, with their two sons.

My thoughts…
I won a copy of this book in a competition hosted by @weekendreads on twitter so it seems only appropriate that I use it to post my first official review.

I was so excited to win the competition and loved the sound of the story. When it arrived it didn't disappoint. The cover image is very simple but classy and the synopsis on the back made me want to get reading straight away.

My first impressions weren't right. I thought the book would be about instant friendships formed by Lucy and the women she met at the school gates - I was wrong!

Each of the four women have their own issues and opinions of each other. Lucy is like a fish out of water when she arrives in New York and at first appears quite unapproachable. Julie is insightful and subtle, a good judge of character. Telling a white lie to Lucy to save her embarrassment. Christy meanwhile is at a crossroads in her life. She is questioning decisions made both past and present is unsettled and a little jealous of Julie's growing friendship with Lucy. Robyn meanwhile thinks the world owes her a favour and in particular the three women who seem to have everything she wants and thinks she's owed!

The book weaves in and out of each of the characters lives, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each of the women. My opinion of each of them altered throughout the book and I felt I got to know the women quite well.

As in real life, given time, the right situation and good friends we all grow into the people we are. The book is a good example of strong friendships born from completely different characters who gel together to almost become one.


All in all a good read. It's not all light and frothy. It gives quite an insightful view into what makes people tick.

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