Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Other Side of the Story
The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
synopsis from author's website
Jojo Harvey is a literary agent whose star is on the rise. In love with both her married boss and her burgeoning career, not much distracts her. Until she finds herself representing two women who used to be best friends. One of them, Gemma, has suddenly found herself from a broken home - at the age of thirty-two. Meanwhile, Lily - the woman Gemma has always blamed for stealing her one chance of happiness - is enjoying the overnight success of her debut novel. Set in the world of publishing, 'The Other Side of the Story' is about love, loyalty, glass ceilings and survival tactics - and what to do when you get your chance for revenge.
This book tells the story of three women, all connected through the book publishing world and of course, men. It changes perspective so we get each woman's story from them.
It starts with Gemma who's boyfriend left her for her best friend, her father left her mother and her job is to plan parties for the rich and fabulous who are less than easy to please. I found her story the least engaging but still funny. The emails she writes to her friend Susan in Seattle are hilarious as she spins incredible (and false) stories of her mother's new younger boyfriend and her father's miserable life with his much younger girlfriend. In her father's case the much younger girlfriend is true, but he doesn't seem miserable at all. My problem is that it seemed like a stretch that she would have to move back in with her mother and put her entire life on hold because her father left. Would your mother actually make you put your job on hold if your father left?
Up next was Jo Jo who I absolutely loved. She is a book agent who is curvy and fabulous and having an affair with her married boss. She ends up representing both Gemma and Lily who have a history despite now living in separate countries. She is fighting to make partner and beat out the slimy Richie Gant. I loved that she makes mistakes and tries to take the high road in her relationship even if it is with her married boss. It was a different take on the affair story too, Mark is the one pushing to make the relationship legitimate. That is right, he actually wants to leave his wife and Jo Jo is keeping him at arms length. I really liked the end of her story because she really does screw up and have to pick up the pieces in both her personal and professional life.
Lily lives in London with the love of her life, Anton, and her daughter Ema and she has best selling book. The problem: Lily is wrecked with guilt because Anton used to be the love of Gemma's life and she can't seem to write a second book. Her story line constantly made me sad but I really felt for her and always wanted to know what was going to happen to them. And I desperately wanted for her to have a happily-ever-after ending. But you will have to read it to know if she did.
This book made me really appreciate a happy ending and true to its title really points out that there are two sides to any story. I did feel the book lasted a little too long. With about 100 pages remaining I was ready for it to wrap up and be over. Overall, it was a good book. I am not sure I would really recommend everyone run out and read it but I would read more books by Keyes.
Favorite quote: "I tried to explain that I hadn't given up, merely reshuffled my priorities, but I didn't do a very good job of it, probably on account of being banjoed out of my head on free pina coladas. But it didn't matter. Happiness means not having to be understood."
This book counts toward my Library Challenge