Monday, October 20, 2008

Apart From the Crowd by Anna McPartlin

I have to admit that I do judge a book by it's cover. While browsing at Barnes & Noble I spotted Apart from the Crowd by Anna McPartlin. I guess because I don't have a dog and want one, I'm a sucker for books with adorable dogs on the cover. Also how cute is her shirt? So I picked it up and the book is set in the little Irish town of Kenmare. Sold! I'm totally buying it.

Apart from the Crowd definitely didn't disappoint. I love Irish melancholia; the whole "life is tough but we make do, have a pint" attitude. It's so different from American writing in a way that I find endearing. Here's the back cover blurb:
In a little Irish town like Kenmare, there's no need to worry whether people will discover your secrets. They already have. For Mary, that means being remembered for her tragic losses, even if she'd rather get on with her life. For her cousin Ivan, as close as a brother, the gossip is all about how his wife took the kids and ran off with her new lover. For Mary's friend Penny, it's an old romance that didn't work out quite right, and a current affair with a bottle of vodka.

Then Sam Sullivan rents the cottage next door to Mary, and within hours the whole town is talking about the film-star-handsome American. When Sam hurts his back while helping his new neighbor and spends the next week confined to a mattress on her floor, gossip runs rampant. But neither Kenmare nor Mary know about the secrets Sam is so successfully hiding....

For Mary's circle of friends, Sam's arrival marks more than one change. And Mary -- whose unlucky history has kept her apart from the crowd much of her life -- has finally found a man with whom she feels she might truly connect. But so long as both are captive to memories they dare not reveal, the past is a barrier that will keep them forever alone.

In this powerful novel, Anna McPartlin perfectly captures the drama, the emotion, and the laughter of a small Irish community, for those who fit in -- and those who don't. Apart from the Crowd mixes wit and insight to create an engrossing tale that will keep you reading to the very last page.
I loved this book so much. If you enjoy authors like Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes you will really be into this one.


Hagelrat said...

Might take a look at this at somepoint, i loved Playboy of the Western World and Dancing at Lughnasa, Irish literature is hugely appealig for exactly the reasons you said.

Vicky London said...

Thanks for the recommendations!