Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sushi for Beginners (by Marian Keyes)

I'm not sure when I acquired this book, but it's been sitting on my shelf for a while. I was leaving for the airport and grabbed it as a nice, fluffy airport read. And it was perfect for that! Not only is it a fun, breezy romantic comedy, it is also dense enough that it lasted me through both the flight to and the flight from Vegas.

The book reminded me fairly strongly of Love Actually, actually. (See what I did there.) It's an intertwined set of stories revolving around three women in Ireland: a power-hungry magazine editor from London, her insecure assistant editor, and the assistant's rich but unhappy best friend.  There are tons of other characters that add texture and unpredictability to the book. (For example, there is not one clear love interest for each woman, and things like professional fulfillment and childhood trauma and female friendship are important plot points.)

So there's the intertwined stories, plus the explorations of not just romantic relationships but also working relationships, relationships and rivalries between friends, and relationships with parents and children that also factor in. There isn't a 100% perfect, happy ending for every character, but it still overall is a feel-good ending. The description of one of the characters (a wildly good-looking photographer) made him sound like Chiwetel Ejiofor, so I just went ahead and cast him in my mind. There's also the magazine editor who starts out mean and then softens up, so of course I imagined Colin Firth for that one. Both in Love Actually. See what I mean?

The book is a little slow-paced, but I read so fast that I appreciated the tangents and the meanderings, which were often fun or interesting. I ordered another book of hers, set in the world of book editing, which I hope will inspire agents who are reading my manuscript to write me back with offers of representation. I'm really not sure how reading a novel about editors will make that happen, but I'm going to go ahead and give it a shot. Thumbs up for this one!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Maureen said...

I've read all of Marian Keyes books, but my very favorite is Watermelon-and it was the first one of hers I read. I love her earlier stuff.

3:07 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Thanks for the tip! That one looked good too. :)

3:09 PM  
Blogger Sheila Dougherty said...

I adore Marian Keyes! She's so often relegated to the bookstore's pink ghetto, and while there's plenty of girly fun and it's not exactly Tolstoy, she delves into a lot of darker issues, drawing a lot from personal experiences (she's been very public about her issues with alcoholism and her ongoing battle with crippling depression, out of which she produced a book about cake, because that is one of the only things that soothed her. LOVE HER!). I've read all of hers -- my fave is Rachel's Holiday. Highly recommend.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Sheila Dougherty said...

I adore Marian Keyes! She's so often relegated to the bookstore's pink ghetto, and while there's plenty of girly fun and it's not exactly Tolstoy, she delves into a lot of darker issues, drawing a lot from personal experiences (she's been very public about her issues with alcoholism and her ongoing battle with crippling depression, out of which she produced a book about cake, because that is one of the only things that soothed her. LOVE HER!). I've read all of hers -- my fave is Rachel's Holiday. Highly recommend.

1:27 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Okay, I have ordered Watermelon and Rachel's Holiday! And I got the publishing one and also Lucy Sullivan. Now I just need a beach vacation to read all of these. (One coming up in October...)

3:24 PM  
Blogger Shalini said...

Okay, I didn't read this whole review because it was in my TBR pile, and now that i've gotten to the end of it I need to know YOUR MANUSCRIPT? Tell me more! I have MANY IDEAS about book publishing and agents (not bitter, I swear! I had/have an agent--juuuust...email me! I want to talk. About my many thoughts! MANY.)

12:05 PM  

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