samedi 18 août 2012

The Starter Marriage by Kate Harrison

Hello to all,

                    doing a small break in the read-a-thons i've entered i decided to give you today my opinion on another chick lit book , one that really moved me, the first one so far, "The Starter Marriage". Now i know that yes there are chick lit books that can interest me.

Happy reading

Publisher: Orion
Publication: 2005
ISBN:  0752868810
Genre: Chick lit
Violence: none

Language: normal
sex: mild
Public: 18+
Source: received from Birgit (The Book Garden)

Short description from goodread :

 Tess Leonard thought matrimony was for life, but her husband has decided that their marriage is the equivalent of a starter home: cramped, claustrophobic and something he's definitely outgrown. Known as 'Tip Top Tess' because of her dogged pursuit of the perfect home, marriage and career, she's now in the biggest mess of her life. And it's all because Barney has walked out. But there's a life raft on the horizon: The Divorce Survival Class. It may be uncomfortable and nearly sinking under the weight of excess baggage, but it's a boot camp for the broken-hearted. Over eight weeks, Tess and classmates will lay bare the darkest secrets of their failed marriages. And course-leader William will turn their lives around in a truly spectacular style...

My opinion:

          Kate Harrison seems the best author of chick lit for me so far.  I love her writing style so fresh and moving with some funny moments and characters so interesting.
It’s, by far, my favourite chick lit book at the moment ; though I concede that after only 3 I still don’t have a lot of experience but at least this time I was completely in it and I wanted to finish the book

Tess in a wonderful character: teacher in her mid thirties, she is in her opinion living the perfect marriage with the perfect husband/best friend. Together they have nearly a perfect relationship: liking the same things, same passion etc. But scratch this surface a bit and we discover a woman that forgot herself while trying to keep the pretences that everything is perfect, for who the appearances were more important. A bit maniac, in a way, wanting everything to be just like she wants them in her logical mind.  Tess doesn’t have conscience of those facts until she is confronted to her divorce, suddenly her perfect husband is leaving her without much of a notice and then to add salt on the injury his girlfriend is pregnant, proof that he didn’t wait their separation to go to another.
For Tess all her life and dreams are shattering. After becoming quite depressive, and isolated herself, she is put in front of the facts by her friend Mel and asks her to go to search help in a support group.

The step to ask for help is harder for her than her friends could have though but she manages it and enters the group for 8weeks. A group to learn to accept the reality, to grieve the shattered dreams without too much anger or guilt and to discover what she really wants. It a slow process but I really enjoyed to see her evolve progressively with her ups and down.

The characters, members of the group, all have a different background and aspiration and while the main story is centred on Tess we also discover the others with their life and aspirations. Kate  Karrison doesn’t forget them or has put less quality in their story far from it. All of them are really well constructed and introduced to the readers so that we can enjoy them as much as Tess. The group is transforming its member by their shared experience. Friendships are forming and sometimes more.

William who directs the group is a good mediator but I enjoyed getting his impression on the members however I even enjoyed more to see his own struggle to accept past and future and how he had a crush without acting on it. The author really made us see those hesitations, regret and moment when the illumination appears and the characters see the reality, clear for once, for the first time.

The ending is really perfect, I loved to see the evolution between Tess and Barney, and have all the stories coming to a new start giving us hope.

Really a wonderful book, more than easy to read, captivating for readers even new to chick lit. To recommend.

Score:  4/5

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received in exchange for this review


This book enter in the Romance and Me Challenge

Book read for the 2012 TBR reading

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