Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life

July 28, 2015 Uncategorized 12

Review: The Woman Who Stole My LifeTitle: The Woman Who Stole My Life
Author: Marian Keyes
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was a mix of good and bad that just can’t compete with many, better books in this genre.

“Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin. After living the dream in New York for a year – touring her self-help book, appearing on talk shows all over the USA and living it up in her 10-room duplex on the Upper West Side – she’s back to normality with a bang. And she’s got writer’s block. Stella wants a clean break as she didn’t exactly leave New York on a high. Why is she back in Ireland so soon? Who is it who keeps calling? Stella wants to get back to being the woman she used to be. But can she? And should she?” (source)

There were parts of this book I really liked and parts I didn’t like it all. Stella herself was a big part of this dichotomy. I loved her sense of humor and she often exhibited a strength and resilience that I admired. She cared deeply for her children, but also for her career. She was very brave about striking out on her own if a relationship wasn’t working for her. On the other hand, her love for her children didn’t stop her terrible parenting from driving me batty. She let her children disrespect her and sometimes even boss her around. And her independence in her relationships was often caused by her own insecurities. This bothered me because she was constantly imagining problems in her relationships and instead of talking them out, she just ran away.

The plot was a mix of good and bad for me as well. Stella did cause a lot of her own problems through her unfounded fears, while most of the good things that happened fell into her lap by luck. The ending was very abrupt as a result. The book did keep me interested in finding out exactly what happened though, thanks to a dual storyline, past and present. In theory, I like the idea of a ‘chick-flick’, lighter kind of book with the strong focus on career found here. In reality, the main character’s entrance into the high-powered publishing world and her worries about money just stressed me out. Not what I’m looking for when I pick up a light read! I had fun reading parts of this, but the main character’s actions were often an enigma to me and the ending was disappointing. Overall, I don’t think I can recommend it given the many better fun, light reads that are out there.

Does it bother you when female characters are insecure in a relationship? Or when characters could solve their problems if they’d only talk about them?

12 Responses to “Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life”

  1. Lizzie

    I think readers will only read a passive character for so long…. if a reader can’t see a protagonist doing something to change then they lose interest.
    I wonder also if a super successful writer like Keyes has a slightly tougher sell with a new book. Her earlier books were so full of sass and great female characters! I love the cover though.
    Lizzie recently posted…By: Interview with Lizzie Harwood of Editor DeluxeMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! As a reader, I find often find passive characters boring and even when I don’t, the book can feel anticlimactic if things just fall into place without the intervention of the main character.

      I have read a lot of reviews by bloggers who are Keyes fans who found this book disappointing compared to her earlier books. Since I felt as though this book had a lot of potential, I might be willing to give Keyes another chance with one of her previous books.

  2. C.J. @ebookclassics

    Ooh, interesting cover. The version I read was a lot less vah-voom. I also had mixed feelings about this book. Stella was a fun character, but her whole world seemed to evolve around men. I also thought the story was too long.
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    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! While she was very passive, most of the changes in her life and most of the decisions she made did seem to be driven by men. I agree it could have been shorter as well.
      DoingDewey recently posted…Nonfiction FridayMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      There seems to be a bit of a consensus on goodreads as well, so I think it’s probably safe to pass on this one 🙂

  3. Naomi

    I have read a few of her books in the past, and have liked some but not others. So, I don’t always trust that I will like her books. Sounds like this would be a good one to pass on.
    Yes, it can drive me crazy when I see an easy fix to a problem that a character doesn’t pursue!
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    • DoingDewey

      It seems like a lot of fans of her previous books were let down by this one. Are there any of her other books that you’d particularly recommend?

      This is a huge pet peeve of mine too and it seems to happen a lot where authors create relationships drama by just having people not talk things out.
      DoingDewey recently posted…Nonfiction FridayMy Profile

  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Oh it’s too bad this was a disappointing read. I would have thought it would be more light-hearted from the cover and synopsis so that would have probably turned me off a bit. But I would also be frustrated by a main character who can’t solve their problems when it can be easy to do so! Especially when it’s dragged out!
    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted…Review: The Mysterious Affair at StylesMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! This was a light read, but not especially light-hearted. I think sometimes the author may have been trying to be funny, but it didn’t work for me.

  5. Hazel

    I reviewed this book recently and I agreed with you. Stella could be so frustrating at times!

    • DoingDewey

      So frustrating! I thought the book had a lot of potential, but I ended up being very disappointed by how much Stella was the cause of her own problems.