Any Way You Want Me by Lucy Diamond
|Any Way You Want Me by Lucy Diamond|
|Genre: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Page|
|Summary: A well written take on the usual "bored housewife embarks on an affair" cliché, with some interesting characters and an easy to follow but intriguing plot.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: April 2007|
Sadie has the clichéd yummy mummy life: nice house, a lovely baby boy and sweet young girl, a nice, hard working man (he's still not her husband, mind), the chance to stay at home with her kids. But being good on paper doesn't necessarily mean her life is perfect, that it's the way she would choose or, even, that she's very happy.
In between the outings to the park and girly nights out around which her life now revolves, Sadie begins to think that something is missing, and as this feeling gnaws away at her, she starts to take action, first understated and then quite explicit, to address this. The result is a life which goes from bordering on boring to crossing into highly complex within the matter of a few pages, with some quite catastrophic consequences.
The book is typical yummy mummy chick-lit, but is well-written, engaging and funny, and kept me laughing and guessing most of the way through. Reading this book made me want to get married just so I could cheat on my husband with one of his colleagues' partners. Seriously.
I only have a few niggles with the book. At times there seems to be a lot going on - perhaps too much. As a result, some of the avenues the book explores don't get very far. Her foray into the world of friends reunited, for example, doesn't actually lead down a dead end, but might as well have done since it stops abruptly and the story then switches to a different track. Equally, there are a lot of sisters and girlfriends introduced, but the sheer quantity means that you end up only knowing a little about most of them, rather than being able to learn more about who they are and what makes them tick. This is annoying when you find a character to identify with and they get "dropped", but doesn't really spoil the book.
I felt like I'd read this story before, because it is quite formulaic and of a certain "type": it is very reminiscent of And What Do You Do?. Though there are some interesting characters, Sadie herself is a bit run-of-the-mill and seems a bit out of it at times. The bombshells that get dropped really have the edge taken off them thanks to the blatant clues in the plot that lead you to know exactly what is going to happen at times, so it's hard to accept that a woman of her purported intelligence wouldn't have seen it coming. It would, however, be unfair to imply that the whole story is so predictable as there are a few twists and turns that are less easy to spot, and make it an enjoyable, page-turner of a book. The very end was a bit of a let down as it seemed an "easy" ending, which probably isn't true to life, but I guess it could happen, and is what people in this situation would like to happen, so I suppose there's nothing to wrong with that.
Lucy Diamond is a quasi-pseudonym (it says this on the first page, and tells you her real name) and though this is her first adult book, she is apparently a successful author of various series of children's books. I think this shows: the book is slick, flows smoothly and is not hard to get in to. An easy, enjoyable read, this book has just the right mix of modern-day-life ingredients (house-proudness, weekends away, child-rearing issues, pleasant but not pornographic sex, posh meals out, extramarital affairs and the like), and in between the nice, normal text, there are some killer lines and double entrendres.
Fans of books such as In Her Shoes or Sophie Kinsella books such as Shopaholic and Baby might well enjoy this title too, as it's in the same vein - not "serious" literature, but much better than your average, churned-out chick-lit offering.
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excellent book could not put it down