Friday, December 20, 2013


2002, 2003 HarperTouch edition
Marian Keyes
Original price $7.99, purchase price 50 cents
Very worn paperback

I found this to be between the first and second Walsh Sisters books in quality.  Five years have passed in the real world and in theirs.  Second sister Maggie, or Margaret, is now 33.  As with Claire in Watermelon, her marriage is ending, or seems to be.  So she goes to visit her screenwriter friend Emily in Los Angeles.  (The title is also a reference to guardian angels.)  While there, she thinks about her marriage, and about her long-ago relationship with Shay, as well as the pregnancies that resulted from both.  Meanwhile, she has two flings, one with a man with a large, "angry-looking" erection, and one with a woman with breast implants.  Keyes goes into much less detail about the one-nighter with Lara, partly because Maggie is bi-curious but not really into women.  When Maggie's parents and youngest sisters show up, I expected some sort of pay-off with Mammy Walsh's* reaction but she doesn't find out.  Still, Lara is a sympathetic character, so this makes up somewhat for the stereotypes in the earlier book.  (There's still mild racism though.)

As with Watermelon, the husband's personality comes across differently at different points in the book, and again I can't tell how much of this is bad characterization and how much is the protagonist rethinking things.  This time though, the Walsh sister goes back to hubby, older and wiser (and more sexually experienced).

The view of LA here can be compared and contrasted to Fisher's insider portrayals from the '80s and '90s.  Keyes's LA seems both phonier and more down-to-earth, with less drug use and more plastic surgery.  

Next up in the series will be Anybody Out There, Anna's book, in 2006....

*Her daughters still call her Mum, but the word "mammy" is used to indicate an old-fashioned Irish mother.

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