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Him to be brainy engineer, me to get diploma in fashion. Just for the record, my duffel coat was electric-blue vinyl. Nearly fell down the stairs into the restaurant. Stumbled on the bottom three steps and almost made my entrance skidding across the floor on my knees like Chuck Berry. Bridie and Treese were waiting. Bridie — like always — was working a most peculiar look. Her straight blondey-red hair was gathered into a low granny-style bun and she was sporting an astonishing green jumper — shrunken, lopsided and embroidered with tiny jockeys.
The oddest taste, she always had — right from her first day at school, aged four, when she insisted on wearing tights the colour of dried blood. Treese, a fund-raiser for a big charity, was much more chic. Flaxen hair in screen-goddess-of-the-forties waves and wearing an impressive dress-and-jacket combo.
From Whistles but on Treese you might mistake it for Prada. Sometimes she has to meet government ministers and ask for money, some- times she even has to go to The Hague and ask EU for cash. Jem, rushing, briefcase, raincoat, pleasant roundy face. Wine ordered.
Drink flowed. Tongues loosened. But now that he had publicly shamed me, they could speak freely. Charming is a wonderful thing. Like ice-cream. No such thing as too much! Again I expressed incredulity.
How can such a thing be? Goes against laws of physics. Or laws of something. Laws of land, maybe. Easily as good-looking as him! You look at him and think, There is a tall, dark, handsome man.
Too perfect! A twinkle in your eye — both eyes, in point of fact — and a small symmetrical nose. Was envious of all those with noses poking out of their fizzogs with straight-ahead precision. The more you look at Paddy de Courcy, the less attractive he gets. Have I left anything out?
Not like him. Like the Joker in Batman! We wanted to hear. It was her boss important banker. Sounded like he wanted to go to Milan and for Bridie to organize flights and a hotel.
Bridie got a big diary out of bag. Very nice bag. Why a nice bag but peculiar clothes? Makes no sense. No, not booking flights for you. Yes, refusing.
You will thank me for this. Am keeping you out of the divorce courts. It might be important. I suspect he has his eye on an Italian lady. Will not facilitate his philandering. I ordered Banoffee pie.
Bananas tasted slimy, like wet leaves in November. I threw down my spoon and spat the bananas into my napkin. Bridie tried my pie. Nothing like wet leaves in November. Treese tried it. Jem tried it. He finished it.
As compensation, he offered me his cold chocolate slab. But it tasted like chocolate-flavoured lard. Bridie tried it. Chocolate, yes, but lard, no. Treese concurred. So did Jem. Bridie offered me her apple tart, but the pastry tasted of damp cardboard and the apple pieces like dead things. Others did not concur. Her overeating was mostly under control now but she could still have bad days.
Think of that nice husband of yours. After the amaretto had a Cointreau. But no! No mention of nightclub. Talk of taxis and work in the morning. Everyone returning to their loved ones — Bridie got married last year, Treese got married this year, Jem was living with possessive Claudia. Jem dropped me off in a taxi and insisted that any time I wanted to hang out with him and Claudia, I was welcome.
He is lovely, Jem. A kind, kind person. But lying, of course. Quick aside.
You know how they told me Paddy was far too good-looking for me? Well, the same could be said for Claudia and Jem. Also I suspect her of hair extensions — one week I met her and she had shoulder-length hair, the following week it was twenty inches longer.
But perhaps she had simply been taking lots of selenium. She looks like a model. In fact, she used to be a model. Sort of.
She sat on car bonnets in bikinis. She also tried to be a dancer. On another reality TV show. She also tried to be an actress. Spent small fortune on headshots, but was told to piss off for being crap. Also a rumour circulated that she had been sighted in a queue for Big Brother auditions but she denies that. But am not judging.
Good lord, I only came by my own career by trial and error, failing at everything else, etc. Fair play to Claudia for her have-a-go spirit. She barely bothers to speak to me, Treese and especially Bridie. She behaves as though we would all steal Jem from under her nose, given half a chance. But she has nothing to worry about. None of us has designs on Jem. We all got off with him when we were teenagers.
His face was not as round and trustworthy back then. Had slight rakish edge. Jem is a lovely, lovely person. He deserves a lovely, lovely girlfriend. Final piece of information. Jem is very well paid. Am not implying anything. Just making an observation. I looked around at a life that amounted to nothing and thought, I am all alone.
And will be for the rest of my days. Not self-pity. Simply facing facts.
Thursday, 28 August 9. Grace Gildee. I wonder if we could have a chat. Because thought it was woman looking to be styled. Paddy de Courcy? Suddenly I got it! Fascinating stuff.
This novel is more that I thought it was. It is deeper than it seems at first glance. However, I do have some issues with it. I mentioned domestic abuse. Well, there are some very graphic description of violence in this novel and somehow it doesn't sit well with its often 'lighter' tone. This novel is so mixed and varied in terms of the style it is written in, and while it makes it a fresh and an interesting read, at times it doesn't feel appropriate.
It is like the book got stuck in between the worlds. Either it should have been darker, and gone deeper in psychological portrayal of characters, or it should have taken it a bit easy on the violence descriptions. If you pick up such a serious topic and base your book on it, you should really give it your all- you know what I mean? If someone even if he is a fictional character causes life treating injuries to so many women, it is something that should have been dealt seriously and in the book, it could have been dealt with in another way.
Should you really have jokes and border chic-lit style mixed with themes of domestic abuse? Perhaps it is not a bad thing, perhaps it gets more people to read about such a difficult topic, but this mixing of styles makes the novel seem less real and not percent authentic.
That is just my opinion. Anyway, there are four main female characters in this novel Lola, Grace, Marnie and Alicia and all four of them are startled when they lean that Paddy is getting married.
Paddy is a popular young politician, who is also very handsome and charming. Lola is the stylist who is dating Paddy at the moment. The novel opens with her and all the chapters devoted to her character are written in first person narration.
The next to take up her space in the narrative is a Grace, a journalist whose sister has had a troubled past with Paddy. Her narrative is written in first person as well. Grace's narrative is followed by that of Marnie, her twin sister and hers is written in the third person. Alicia, the lady who is getting married to Paddy is surprised herself to hear the news about her engagement because he hadn't even bothered to ask her first.
It remains unclear whether it is something he had planned or not. LOLA Lola is an adorable character. Very easy to sympathize with, very human and decent sort of girl. I enjoyed her character development. Some things she did weren't convincing, but on overall I did like her character I have a confession to make.
I struggle to understand bad English. I know what you might think-what do you mean, it's not even your mother tongue.
Say what you want, but sentences that make no grammatical sense get on my nerves, alright? I don't like them. The dropping of pronouns and indefinite articles Are people really getting that lazy?
Do they really talk like that all the time? Yes, we shorten our sentences in everyday speech, but all the time? I don't think so--Here it is done in such an extent to make Lola appear a simpleton. I didn't like it. It was a wee bit overdone. Her inner struggle seemed the most convincing. In the course of the novel, she is presented with a moral dilemma that brought to light the complexity of her character.
There are a lot of layers to her character and there is more than might meet the eye. I felt that her psychological portrayal was done rather well. Grace is the solid kind of woman, the one that everyone can lean on. Interestingly enough she has the same effect on this novel. It is as she made the story seem more plausible. Her relationship crisis was so easy to relate her.
Grace's love for her troubled sister was tangible. It was easy to feel for her, it was easy to like her Grace has this way of making you open up to other characters as well.