After reading dozens of Agatha Christie mysteries, I felt I needed a break from all the murders. I asked my older cousin for chick lit book recommendations, and at first she gave me a YA book to read. Trust me, I have nothing against YA, just take a look at my Goodreads shelves. I realized though that I don’t respond well to high school romance stories anymore. (I must be getting old!)
Alternatively, she told me to give Marian Keyes a try, named a number of titles, and warned me that Marian Keyes gets a bit heavy sometimes. I picked up a copy of Watermelon, which seems to be the first in a series about the Walsh Family (thanks for the info, Goodreads). The main character in the story is Claire, and before she’s even shared her name with you, she’s already given you a rundown of her current tragedy. Her husband has left her for another woman. Typical? Well Claire has just given birth and is barely lucid when he decides to break the news to her.
Spoiler alert? Don’t read on if you don’t want to find out more than what was on the back cover. I’ll keep major spoilers to a minimum.
As expected, Claire falls into a gigantic pit of despair and the author describes everything so well. Since it is told from the first person perspective, there are times when you want to hit Claire over the head for thinking certain things. I was also annoyed at how insecure she was as a character, but I guess you couldn’t really blame her after what happened.
Thankfully though she manages to go through all the stages of grief and slowly pieces her life back together. Then her good-for-nothing husband suddenly appears and ruins everything. It was at this point I felt like slapping some sense into her! As the reader, you can clearly see that something is wrong.
There were times when her internal monologue would get too wordy, so I sped read over a few parts. Some of the other characters could have been better developed (but I guess they get their own books). However, I did appreciate the character development of James (her husband). For most of the book we only see him from Claire’s perspective and how she remembers him pre-breakup. Rose colored glasses. That’s all I have to say.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. The heavy subjects were covered well and Claire was witty enough that she redeemed herself in my mind. I am looking forward to picking up my next Marian Keyes book, but I think I’ll read another Agatha Christie novel first. I’m so close to finishing them all.
Until the next read!