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Sheila O'Flanaghan is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I love her easy-going, comfortable writing style - it's so easy to lose a few hours in one of her books, and this is no exception. I've re-read this book a few times now, and it never disappoints. I've read a few reviews before I bought this, and a few have said that it can seem a bit too long in places, I think this only adds to the appeal of the book. I like books that take a bit more time to get to know the characters, to set the scene before getting down to the main business of the book - I wouldn't say any aspects of the book are unecessary, they all add something to the overall scene and plot of the book. O'Flanaghan writes this book in such a way that it is easy to dislike Nieve and like Darcey (as it should be), but also to change your opinions as the book progresses - you almost don't want to feel sorry for Nieve, but it's written in such a way so that you can't feel anything but sorry for her (but secretly I felt a bit glad that she got her comeuppance in the end, perhaps I'm just a little bit evil!). I would offer only one criticism, you can almost predict what's going to happen at the end - maybe not perfect prediction, in terms of content, but definately how the characters will come back together and everything will be rosey again - excuse the cynic in me. All that said I think this is a fantastic book, perfect for a holiday read (because it is slightly longer than other books) and a fine example of chick-lit.
Sheila O'Flanaghan is a very successful Irish writer who has written numerous novels - most of which I have read and enjoyed. I was therefore looking forward to reading another of her novels - Bad Behaviour - which I have just finished. I did very much enjoy it in the end but with 600 pages it is a bit of a marathon read and actually took me about three times longer than it usually takes me to read a book. Although, in the end, it was an enjoyable read I would have to question whether it has to be quite so long! Bad Behaviour is about two women in their thirties - Darcey McGonigle and Nieve Stapleton. They were best friends at school but there was also a fierce rivalry between the two as they were probably the two cleverest girls in their class. There was a time when it seemed that nothing could come between the two girls - that was until Nieve takes up with Darcey's boyfriend Aidan, even though they were about to become engaged. Years have passed and although Darcey has seemingly moved on she has never really got over the sense of betrayal. She has a successful job, a nice apartment and good friends. The one thing she does not have though is a special relationship even though she was married for a while. However life is good - that is until she receives an invitation to Nieve's and Aidan's weddings and all those old feelings come flooding back. And of course there is the dilemma as to whether she should actually attend. Alongside this, we also read about Nieve living a very successful life in California and planning her dream wedding - which is probably an excuse to show off about how well her life has turned out to all her friends and family. Throughout everything has happened though she has remained true to Aidan thus probably proving that they are right for each other and that it would never have worked out between him and Darcey. The novel, in all of its 600 pages, follows both women through all their ups and downs, both professionally and personally, as they head towards Nieve's big day. There are many different strands to the story and you could question whether it might have managed quite nicely without some of these sidelines and therefore have become a more manageable read. Having said that though, most of the storylines are quite absorbing and they do all make a contribution to the overall effect of the novel. This is particularly true of the ones that introduce new and lively characters. However, I feel sure that some of the quiz nights, business meetings and other suchlike could have easily been cut. I really liked Darcey's character and found myself wanting everything to turn out well for her. I also found myself warming towards Nieve although she is obviously not an instantly likeable character. However, in this story, she does have to face a certain amount of unforeseen adversity and through this, she does demonstrate a more human side to her personality. Bad Behaviour is a good book but I do think that you have to be prepared to dedicate a certain amount of time to it so that you can 'get into it'. I started reading the book over Christmas and with so much else going on found that I could only snatch moments in which to read it. However, the final 200 pages, I read in just about two days and suddenly found myself totally hooked. I just felt that it was a shame that I could not feel like this sooner as I was reading, and I am sure that I would have read it much quicker. Overall this is an absorbing and well written tale but just too long for my liking. I'm off to choose a shorter book now! Bad Behaviour is available on Amazon for £5.99.