Green Giants! Book Review: You, Me & Other People by Fionnuala Kearney

April 13, 2015 Book review, Green Giants 16 ★★★★

Green Giants is my feature where I share some of my favourite books by Irish Authors.   I’m passionate about Irish Authors, they supply us with a great and exciting mix of books, hopefully you will find something new to try.  Today it’s a new to me author – Fionnuala Kearney– whose début novel I want to share the love for.

green giants

Fionnuala Kearney is an Irish Author who contacted me after seeing my Spend Paddy’s Day with an Irish Author post.  I took one look at the cover for her début novel and saw that tantalising tagline about secrets and I was in!  I love books about family secrets; they lure me in as I want to dig up all those torrid details.

Green Giants! Book Review: You, Me & Other People by Fionnuala KearneyYou, Me and Other People by Fionnuala Kearney
Published by HarperCollins UK on February 26th 2015
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

You, Me and Other People is the life-affirming, heartbreaking and ultimately stunning debut novel from Fionnuala Kearney.

THEY SAY EVERY FAMILY HAS SKELETONS IN THEIR CLOSET . . .

But what happens when you open the door and they won’t stop tumbling out? For Adam and Beth the first secret wasn’t the last, it was just the beginning. You think you can imagine the worst thing that could happen to your family, but there are some secrets that change everything. And then the question is, how can you piece together a future when your past is being rewritten?

First Line of You, Me & Other People by Fionnuala Kearney:

“I should not be here”

 My Thoughts on You, Me & Other People by Fionnuala Kearney:

This book was very different to others I have read lately, in a good way.  It’s not a fast-paced book, it’s very heavy on dialogue and it’s a book that doesn’t make everything look happy and shiny.  Instead it’s a very realistic, very compelling look at how a couple deal with the fall out of a broken marriage.  Not the happiest theme in the world but a very relevant and relatable one.  Even if you have never been though a breakup this book shows just how much sweat, blood and tears go into making a relationship work.

Beth and Adam have reached a breaking point in their marriage after Beth discovers he has cheated on her.  And neither quite know who they are without the other person.  From the start I loved Beth and admired her courage and resilience.  She is broken but I loved watching her slowly rebuild a new life.  I felt a myriad of emotions while I was reading this as it felt like watching a friend struggle and endure and grapple with her new life circumstances.  I wanted to call around with wine, chocolates and hugs!

On the other hand Adam took a lot longer to win me over.  I wanted to throttle him over and over as he revealed secret after secret and he is very much the master of his downfall.  However he is not a villain and a part of me wanted to hug him too.  We all mess up and Adam grows a lot during the book as he accepts his flaws and owns his mistakes.  But we’ll never be besties!

I loved how complex the characters and the relationships in the book were.  No one is perfect and all the characters have vulnerabilities which add a realistic, endearing edge to them.  I was never sure what direction the plot would go in as I didn’t know if they would get back together or not.  All I will say is that I was 100% satisfied with what actually happened.

And I mentioned before that plot isn’t fast and I think this really suited the book.  As instead of flying through the book at break neck speed, I enjoyed lingering with and mulling over the characters and their decisions.  I also really felt for their grown up daughter Meg during the book as it portrayed how torn and betrayed she felt by the secrets her Dad buried for so long.

Just to mention also that the setting is in England not Ireland however this isn’t a book that really matters where the physical setting is.  As first and foremost, it’s a book about knotty relationships and really the setting could be anywhere in the world.

Overall this was a very thought-provoking book and I was thinking about the characters and their journey long after I put the book down.  It’s was an impressive debut and I look forward to reading more books by Fionnuala in the future.

 

Rating Report
Characters
four-half-stars
Setting
four-stars
Pace
four-stars
Did I feel it?
four-stars
Overall: four-stars

Who should read You, Me & Other People by Fionnuala Kearney?

I’d recommend this to folks who like reading character driven books with realistic settings.  Also don’t be put off by the marriage break up theme as the book has an inspiring life-goes-on feel to it. Fans of authors such as Cathy Kelly, Liane Moriarty and Carmel Harrington should also enjoy this one

Thanks to Harper Collins for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

 

 

four-stars

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16 Responses to “Green Giants! Book Review: You, Me & Other People by Fionnuala Kearney”

    • trish

      That’s an interesting difference Katherine, I never really thought about it before. I think as long as there is some reason for the secret, no matter how stupid, then I’m intrigued. I love the reveal!

    • trish

      It’s very realistic Brandee and that was my favourite thing about it. It’s such a relatable theme and it makes you see it from every side. Like you said no one is perfect and even the most flawed have good points and I loved the balance this book showed.

    • trish

      I know I’m exactly the same when the characters are complex and realistic, I just get lost in the book.

    • trish

      Exactly and it gives you longer to think about how you might react in the same situation too. Really enjoyed this one Rita 🙂

    • trish

      This is just a different type of happy ever after as it really shows that even after the worst of events, life goes on and can be better than ever. It ended up being pretty inspirational 🙂

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