Saturday, 4 October 2014

"It Started With Paris" by Cathy Kelly

I received a copy of this title, from, in return for an honest review.

I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of this book, as I have fond memories of reading Cathy Kelly books and can remember feeling as if I was wrapped up in cosy blanket.  It is a while since I have picked up one of her books and this was the perfect opportunity to re-acquaint myself with her work.

A young couple get engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower after a romantic proposal in front of delighted tourists.  Their phone calls home, to tell of the big news, are met with no great surprise, as they have been together for years.  But how will the wedding effect their family and friends? 

It Started With Paris starts with the cute proposal and you can almost feel the Paris air at the top of the famous landmark.  A wonderful place to ask your childhood sweetheart for their hand in marriage.  I was settling in for a few comfortable reading sessions and was a little disappointed when I realised this was not going to be the case.  The first chapter set the scene but then the narrative shifts to the mother of the groom, a headmistress, an ex-pupil’s mother (as far as I could make out) who is connected to the woman who is baking the cake for the wedding.  Then there is the bride’s best friend, her sister and her mother.  There were more characters, but at this stage I had started using a notepad to draw up a spider diagram to see how these people were connected.  I felt no connection to any of them, except the children of the cake-maker’s boyfriend. 

 I persisted much longer than I would normally, as I like Cathy Kelly.  A talented Irish writer, with millions of books sold, I kept hoping that the novel would find its stride.  I’m afraid I had to abandon it at page 238.  I really did try.   There is no problem with the writing. It is nice and gentle and maybe had there been less characters to get my head around, perhaps with less pages too, it may have worked better.   It may even have picked up pace by page 300.  I’m afraid I couldn’t persist long enough to find out.

Maybe the fault lays with me.  I have read some amazing new fiction recently and my expectations have been raised.  I am sure that for Cathy Kelly this will still be a top ten best seller for months to come, but it just was not for me.   Also, thumbs up for the beautiful cover artwork.  It is fantastic!

It Started With Paris is published by Orion on 9th October 2014 in Hardback and ebook format.

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