Anne-Marie in the City by Caelinn LargeyFriday 15 Feb 2002
If you are considering reading Caelinn Largey's debut novel 'Anne-Marie in the City', here's some advice – dust down your sense of disbelief and leave it outside the door because although it's a fun, entertaining read, it incorporates so many coincidences and twists of fate that it's a wonder the eponymous protagonist, Anne-Marie, hadn't called on the services of Mulder and Scully by page 270.
'Anne-Marie in the City' tells the story of Anne-Marie Elliot, a 19-year-old Kerry girl who heads to Dublin to begin her new life, sharing a flat with her three cousins from Limerick. In the capital, she makes new friends, falls in love, has her heart broken and gets caught up in more scrapes and tight spots than your average soap character, yet somehow emerges all the better for it.
This book's biggest flaw is the web of coincidence and connections it depends on to drive the story forward. Largey has created some memorable characters, far more original and rounded than other chick-lit offerings but admittedly, there are plenty of other individuals who are as unbelievable as the world they inhabit – business tycoon Desmond Dunne and the reclusive magazine owner Isolde Phoenix to name but two.
However, Largey's writing is snappy and at times humorous and if it's escapism you're looking for on a dull, wet Spring afternoon, you've come to the perfect place. But be warned, if gritty realism is more your thing, avoid this book at all costs.