Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Book Review - Keeping it in the Family by Sinead Moriarty

Synopsis - Niamh O'Flaherty falls in love with the older, intellectual Pierre.  Pierre's parents are formidable and have reservations about their only son hooking up with a newspaper columnist.  Niamh's parents are something else and are going to go ballistic when they find out who their daughter intends to marry.  He is not Irish...
Review - I would not have picked this book off the shelf at the library but what a surprise!  In my experience chicklit is very hit and miss and so often the key ingredient is lacking.  This book has it all, wit, humour and a good storyline.  A real good fun read when you need a good laugh.
Niamh has been brought up in London to Irish parents.  Her father left Ireland for England to build a life and he did that.  Founding his own business and marrying a good Irish girl.  Mick and Annie have three children the golden eyed Siobhan who loves the Irish heritage and stubborn Niamh who rejects anything Irish and Finn, the youngest and a boy.  Siobhan falls out of favour when she falls pregnant out of wedlock and brings shame on the family.  Niamh is in turn 'punished' for her sisters mistake, she cannot go out with boys, has to study and is sent on a holiday to Ireland to stay with her much loved maternal grandparents.  Her grandfather has received instructions to teach her about Ireland.  Niamh returns having embraced everything Irish, goes to Dublin to university and gets a job writing a fluffy newspaper column.  Her father hopes she will find a nice Irish boy to marry.  She meets Pierre who is fourteen years her senior and a professor of phonetics.  He is French, having been brought up in France and England but his parents are from Martinique in the Caribbean.  Pierre is tall, dark, handsome and black.  Jean and Fleur have difficulties coming to terms with Pierre's choice particularly as Niamh can't cook and doesn't speak much French.  However, that is the least of Niamh and Pierre's problems.  Pierre is introduced to Niamh's broaderminded aunt and her sister Siobhan, who are easily won over by his charm.  Niamh's father has a heart attack and Niamh cannot break the news until he is strong enough to cope with it.  Predictable and funny.  If you want highbrow literature, don't bother but if you want a cheery, light and funny book then this may be for you.  3*

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