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Book Review

Just Between Us by Cathy Kelly

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HarperCollins €13.99

With Cathy Kelly, what you see is what you get. The former newspaper columnist and agony aunt has enjoyed enormous success since she began writing novels so she is hardly likely to change the tried and tested formula that earned her last year's Parker RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award. As with her previous five books, Kelly deals with the trials and tribulations of the modern Irish woman in 'Just Between Us' but it's not all about romance.

With the Miller girls and their mother Rose, Kelly touches on issues like divorce, single parenthood, alcoholism, and infidelity. To the outsider, Rose and her daughters Stella, Tara and Holly seem to have it all. But we soon find out their perfect lives are quite the opposite. As they prepare for Rose and Hugh's ruby wedding anniversary party, the cracks begin to show and the secret heartaches which they have kept hidden, even from each other, slowly emerge.

If you enjoy Kelly, then you'll love her latest offering. She is always ambitious in her writing and here, she successfully switches the point of view from chapter to chapter as she carefully interweaves the lives of the four Miller women. Admittedly, she sometimes resorts to stereotype and rather unrealistically the problems each of the four main characters face resolve themselves in the end, but if you are a fan of Kelly's novels, you'll be expecting that. If you're not a fan, then you won’t be missing out if you give 'Just Between Us' a miss - in no way is that a reflection on Kelly's abilities, merely a matter of taste.

Amanda Fennelly

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