A wonderful story of Annie and Dan and who've been together since they were childhood sweethearts and everyone sees them as the perfect couple. However, on the inside of their relationship Annie feels completely and utterly ignored and taken for granted, not only by workaholic husband and vet Dan, but also by his Mother who has Annie running around doing erands all over the place, and other people who just use their house (which used to belong to Dan's Mom and Dad and is also home to the vetinary practice that Dan's father owned) as their own. They live in a very small Irish village where everyone knows their business, they have no privacy whatsoever, Dan's mother disapproves of everthing she tries to do in her own house and everyone treats her like a skivvy, and generally takes advantage. There is no longer any spark or excitement in their relationship and despite her attempts to get Dan to spend time with her, he just can't tear himself away from the practice.
So when Annie agent calls and she get's the opportunity to audition for a part in a play, she's delighted to go of to Dublin to the audition where she meets up again with Liz, an old acting friend and she starts to feel just a little bit like her old life is returning and that she has more to offer. Annie has to wait for a good while to see if she gets the part and during this time, Dan didn't even spend Christmas dinner with her, as another "emergency" cropped up and she's left with his malingering friends and family. Due to Dan's habit of not listening to her and finding the fact that someone's horse has got the trots, far more important than paying attention to his long suffering wife, it takes her what seems like an age to tell him that the's been offered the part which is on Broadway and that they have asked her to go to New York for a year to take the part!
She really wants to take this opportunity as she has put her life on hold for a while to please everyone else so with Dan's blessing, she takes off and they try to conduct a long distance relationship an ocean apart. Does she miss Dan as much as she thought she would or does her new exciting life, experiencing a new city, living on her own, meeting new people and making new friends change what she wants?
To find out how it pans out, you'll just to read it yourself as I'm not giving away anymore of the plot. But it's an emotional journey which I feel I suffered myself! Once again, I lost myself in the plot of this book, becoming the main character and experiencing her feelings and thoughts in this new life which is so different to her old one.
A very cleverly written book by Claudia Carroll, and a message to all the couples out there who do take each for granted because there are other more important things in your life that seem to take priority over spending quality time with each other.
Claudia's writing flows so easily and it's such an enjoyable book, that you don't notice how much you've read, and you just want to keep on reading. It's lively, it's colourful, it's realistic, it's exhilarating, it's just thoroughly brilliant. You can probably gather by now that I loved it! I've never been to New York so it was also about learning about and being a tourist in a fabulous city for me too and it's now firmly planted on my "places to go" list. Again, another new author to me whose work I found utterly pleasurable and I will certainly be looking out for her other books now. This is her eighth book.
Claudia Carroll was born and still lives in Dublin and not only is a writer, but has also worked as a theatre and TV actress. Her first novel was published in 2004 and became a massive hit and she has since gone on to write a string of successful books.
You can find out more about Claudia and her fantastic novels at http://www.claudiacarrol.com/.