Sunday, 8 April 2012

Review - The Stag and Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle

I've read a lot of Mike Gayle's books and have loved them all. This was no exception. The Stag and Hen weekend is - how do I describe it - two books for the price of one maybe! This was the most unusual book I've ever read! One half is about the Stag Weekend, then you turn it upside down and over and read about the Hen Weekend, or you can choose to read the Hen Weekend first.  It doesn't matter which you choose first.  This book is told as if it is two separate stories with common characters in each so the person reading the story gets to choose which story they read first. 

Confused? Don't be, it's a fabulous concept! I chose to read the Stag Weekend first which is about Phil who is really not looking forward to his weekend away before his marriage to Helen.  He takes off to Amsterdam with his best mates who are all in their late 30s and while Phil would rather it be a weekend about culture and fine dining and sharing it with Helen, his friends want to get as drunk as they possibly can and pick up girls. Phil bumps into one particular woman who he recognises from somewhere and when he realises where he recognises her from it turns out that they have a lot more in common than they ever thought possible.

Helen meanwhile has gone to a spa in the Peak District with her greatest friends, the only blot on the landscape is the fact that Phil's sister Caitlin will also be joining her. They have never got on and Helen does not really know why she invited Caitlin and Caitlin accepted the invitation.  When Helen runs into her ex fiance who also happens to be the man who she once loved enough to accept a marriage proposal then at the last minute, found out had cheated on her so the wedding never went ahead, it was a massive surprise to her. It brought back a lot of memories for her and got her thinking about whether she still had feelings for him.  Is it coincidence that she has run into him on her hen weekend or is it some great detective work on his part?

Again another cracking book from Mike Gayle. A fabulous storyteller with tons of humour, fun, friendship and tears along the way. I am a massive fan of Mike's writing and have loved every single book he has brought out. He has an amazing way of tugging at your heartstrings and putting a smile on your face at the same time.  His characters are wonderfully portrayed, easy to picture and this book like his others was so easy to read. 

Friendship is an important theme throughout the book, the girls are all very close and so are the boys in their own ways. 
I was a little surprised that you never got to find out how the story ended because I'm a person who likes loose ends tied up.  This didn't spoil my enjoyment though.  It was highly entertaining and I expect that the purpose of this is so that you can decide the ending for yourself. 

Mike Gayle is happily married and lives in Birmingham with his wife and two children. Mike was an agony uncle in a previous life and who now works as a freelance journalist and contributes to the number of publications including FHM the Sunday times and cosmopolitan. the stag and hen weekend is Mike's 10th book and together they have sold over 1 million copies in the UK. 

You can read more about Mike and his other fabulous reads at

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You can buy The Stag and Hen Weekend via Amazon

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Love the concept of two books in one! See that format a lot here with newsletters... one way is in English and the other is in French. Why not take advantage with a novel. Well done Mike!