by Marian Keyes
Book 2 of my burgeoning love-fest with Marian Keyes, Sushi for Beginners proves that Keyes' charming and captivating main character in Angels was no accident. As with Angels, Sushi is an unapologetic and non-stop chick book. But what chicks they are!
Rather than focusing on a singular heroine, in Sushi Keyes' gives us three very different female lives to follow as they merge, diverge and get what they deserve -- good or bad. Earnest Ashling is a 30ish single woman whose career has been like herself - earnest but overlookable. In contrast, her boss Lisa is the quintessential uber-bitch whose entire self is dependent on her success. On the other end of the spectrum, Ashling's childhood girlfriend and still supposed best friend Clodagh is a coddled, spoiled stay-at-home yuppie queen who has gotten by with good looks and a willing husband.
Place again plays a pivotal role in Keyes' story, as Dublin is home to those who love it and patrician torture for displaced, chic, nasty Lisa. Dublin is the only place Lisa could have learned what she needed to learn in order to grow, but you'll believe that when you read it, but is also the steadfast mother Ashling needs. Interestingly, Clodagh lives in the 'burbs removed from both Dublin's heart and reality.
And once again, Keyes lets her story unfold with an uncanny sense of timing, tension and believablility. And as one who has been there (frequently), I was amused, challenged and frightened by her too-real exposure of female and maternal depression.
I almost slept through work one day last week finishing this book, and once again am missing my friends from Keyes' imagination. Perhaps it's time to move onto more substantial fare, but why push myself when I'm having such fun learning from Keyes' women!?