Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This Holey Life by Sophie Duffy

Vicky is a reluctant curate's wife, struggling to come to terms with her own bereavement and her husband's new-found faith. Then, one Boxing Day, a knock on the door brings her annoying big brother, his teenage son and a cello into her life, turning her world upside down. With her small terrace house in Penge now fit to burst, Vicky struggles to manage her three children and the joys of everyday family life. As a new threat lurks behind every corner, hope appears in the most unlikely of circumstances.

When I first started reading, I wasn't certain I would be able to relate to Vicky and to her complicated life; frankly, I would have booted Martin out after the first night! Still, I kept reading, and found myself unable to stop. Vicky is a woman under siege, one battling with family history, the loss of a child, her husband's abrupt decision to embark on a life in the church, and the realities of her daily life. Vicky is a sympathetic character because she is real and because the way she works through her problems is real. I loved her daughters (especially Olivia), though her husband I was less a fan of her husband- in my opinion he should have been paying more attention to the impact of his choices on her life. Martin was a nightmare and frankly so annoying that I'm giving this 4 stars rather than 5- I simply can't imagine why Vicky tolerated his presence in her house, brother of no brother. Regardless, this is a excellent look at one woman's attempt to hold it together for everyone else and yet somehow finding that she's in the place that she always needed to be. Highly recommended!

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