‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’
‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’
If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . . However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?
What I thought
I happily admit I’m biased when it comes to Marian Keyes because while her writing invariably involves a romance, she primarily writes around the effects of depression, sadness, mental illness and ways of coping with life. Grief, breakups, death, drug addiction, and unplanned pregnancies have featured along the way and have made her much more than a cliche genre author.
In The Break, a single event with a pretty obvious bad guy (the husband for leaving) is traced back over time to the origins of the relationship and what really took place in the dynamics of the family.
Keyes’ writing skills are excellent and, no matter the topic, she consistently shows and doesn’t tell while sustaining more than one -or two- narratives and storylines.
This is a great read.
The Break by Marian Keyes is published on 7 September.