The Break by Marian Keyes is sure to be a bestseller.
Amy, the main character, seems to have it all. She is happily married to a lovely fellow named Hugh with three children. It’s a blended family – the eldest is hers from a young marriage, the middle one is a niece who they inherited from hopeless relatives, and the youngest is theirs. Amy is a publicist whose working life appears glamourous, filled with celebrities and events as she jets between London and Ireland, where she and Hugh live. Money is tight, but on the whole, she and Hugh like each other and their life.
However, as you might expect, all is not what it seems and Amy is left distraught when Hugh announces he wants to take a six-month break from their life and marriage to travel through Asia alone. Amy reluctantly agrees, knowing that Hugh has been suffering depression since the unexpected death of his father.
Hugh disappears and Amy is left alone to cope with a household that has formerly been managed by two parents while continuing her busy working life. She struggles with some of her single friends who want to welcome her into the ‘all men are untrustworthy’ club, while feeling like a third wheel amongst her coupled friends. Worst of all, not long into Hugh’s trip one of Amy’s daughters finds a photo on social media of Hugh with a young woman with whom he is obviously romantically involved.
Things become even more complicated for Amy when she and a man with whom she previously had a light-hearted work flirtation reconnect at a work event.
I’m a big fan of Marian Keyes and always particularly like her main characters. They usually experience some life event or other that could happen to any of us – although let me be clear about one thing, there is no way on this earth I’d ever let He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers out of my sight for six months. I would not let him go for even three weeks. He is far too handsome and wonderful and someone else would be sure to snaffle him up.
However, apart from my refusal to play along with that particular plot line, Marian Keyes’s main characters often have families who seem funny if you’re an outsider but are excruciating to be related to, they have good friends and they nearly always work in an interesting industry. The Break is no exception. Amy’s parents are hilarious, her eldest daughter is narky, her ex-husband is a tool and her workmates are a funny mixture of lovely, awkward, and lecherous.
I guessed how The Break would end, but I enjoyed going through Amy’s emotions with her as the story was told. A perfect read for the holidays or when you just want to be entertained.