Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Mad About You by Sinead Moriarty (Fiction, 9/10E)

8th May 2014, Penguin, 400 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: family life, work stress and commitment, starting a new life, sisters, inlaws, taking care of children, making hard decisions, stalking, fear,acting irrationally, trust
Content: occasional strong language, a few moderate adult situations, some humour, heartache

Summary from Penguin
Emma and James Hamilton have weathered lots of storms in their ten-year marriage. However, the pressure of moving for James's new job puts them under stress like never before. So when James starts getting texts from a stranger - texts that show startling insights into their lives - Emma is not sure what to think. Maybe the life she believed to be solid and secure is just a mirage.

Somehow she has to get a grip, but how can she do that when a stranger is set on driving Emma out of her home and her marriage?

Nayuleska's thoughts
I was intrigued about the stalking element of this story, which did take quite a while to start, and, aside from a point where the stalker could have been several people, I figured it out fairly early on but that didn't matter. It didn't matter that I thought Emma was losing the plot metaphorically in places, because I was totally sucked into the story. I may not be married or have children, but Emma's apprehension at having to settle into a new life with her family made a compelling story. It was so easy just to keep reading about the zillion dramas in her life which didn't come neatly one at a time but bashed about leaving her breathless. She juggles so much that it's understandable she gets a bit irrational and doubts everyone - she barely gets any 'me' times, and feels she has to deal with everything.

I enjoyed - not that that's the best expression - how Emma's friends and family have their own issues which add to Emma's worries because it's so true to life. Emma was put in difficult positions and didn't know what to do. Her sister Babs is a character (obviously so is Emma but I mean personality wise here), quite ruthless and has a massive falling out with Emma but the bonds of sistership run deep and they do look out for each other. I felt similarly to Emma about Lucy's situation, and it was hard being powerless to prevent the obvious from happening.

The stalking itself was creepy, despite figuring out the culprit before they were unmasked. In fact that made it harder to read because of how the culprit behaves towards Emma and her family. The culprit is totally nuts. They risk mentally scarring the children by sending highly inappropriate mature adult items to Emma. I thought how Emma reacted around the children was sensible, trying to distract them from thinking about it. When the truth comes out there is way more to the story than I suspected, which was a pleasant plot twist. I'm looking forward to reading more by Sinead.

Find out more on Sinead's website.

Suggested read
For more family drama check out Tiny Acts of Love by Lucy Lawrie (Fiction, 9/10E)

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