Book Review | The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

I read this book a little while ago so I'm so sorry that this review hasn't come sooner! When I started reading this book I was pretty hooked, but I must admit that it faltered a bit towards the end. It begins with a slight car accident involving the main character, Stella Sweeney, and a couple of men, but it takes a few chapters to realise the relevance of this accident to the plot. The blurb of this book would have you believe that the car crash is the catalyst for the rest of the story, and meeting 'Mr RangeRover' sparks the life changing events that follow - y'know like your typical literary romance novel. But this book isn't like that, the story IMO has nothing to do with the car accident and meeting 'Mr RangeRover' is only incidental in forming Stella's biased first opinion of him when he is re-introduced as a central character later on. The first half of the book alternates between a chapter of Stella's life in the present, which is revealed to have gone significantly downhill, and a chapter revealing an extract of the book that made Stella a best selling author. 

You see the central plot of the book is not mentioned in the blurb at all. I hope this isn't a spoiler, seeing as it is revealed fairly early on, but Stella suffers suddenly from a fairly unknown but potentially fatal disease that leaves her paralysed and unable to speak let alone move. She is in hospital for months and is taught to communicate through her blinks by her doctor Mannix Taylor (aka Mr. RangeRover). These are by far the most interesting chapters of the book as you can easily relate to Stella's fear and frustration. As I mentioned previously the chapters alternate, so while reading about Stella's time in hospital we are also reading about her present life as a separated single mother with an eccentric husband and her struggle to write another best-selling book. It is also hinted that something bad has happened to her (y'know, other than nearly dying) since the huge success of her last book. This mystery begins to unfold during the second half of the book which details her life in America where she is offered a contract, begins a new relationship and makes a new best friend. 

Unfortunately the second half of the book isn't nearly as interesting. Stella isn't as relatable or as likeable, and she does that thing that characters often do of not being able to see the bigger picture and pretty much self-sabtoging. Her life in America seemed unbelievable and it was such a shame that the plot seemed to drift so far from its centre. The other books I've read by Marian Keyes have been packed with twists and tension, but The Woman Who Stole My Life truly lost it in the end, and for those wondering - the title, thought referred to in the book, has very little relevance too.



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