“ Genre: Fiction / Author: Fiona Neill / Hardcover / 400 Pages / Book is published 2009-05-21 by Century „
After realising just how many of my sisters books I still have to read and return (15 in total!), I knew I had to get stuck, hence this review!
The book in question is - "Friends, lovers and other indiscretions by Fiona Neil".
Sam and Laura Diamond have been together for years, an as with most other relationships theirs has become quite lax in certain areas, though through no fault of either of them.
After Sam has hoped that his birthday will end with him being taken away by Laura, for a dirty weekend he is soon shocked back to earth when the only thing she gets him is marriage counselling, not what he was expecting, especially when he didn't really think there was a problem.
After accepting an offer for a weekend away with there lifelong friends, to a small Hebredian island for a magazine shoot it seems that theirs is not the only relationship on the rocks.
This book was on the bottom off my to read pile, and I have to say I wasn't really looking forwards to it. I have previously read a book by this author "Slummy mummy", and was not impressed, which I think is the reason why I left this one so long, but was pleasantly surprised by it.
The story follows the lives of a group of university friends as they are all nearing their 40's, and how their lives have always been linked (though at times this is not so good, especially when Laura finds out that her husband has actually been sexually active with no less than two of her best friends in their youth!).
I love how each couple assumes that the other couples have such fantastic relationships, not realising that the many problems they are facing (and various affairs too) are well hidden to portray the perfect lifestyle, though of course these houses of cards usually get blown down to reveal the truth!
Up until the weekend away together (which is the pivotal point of the book), each chapter of the book follows a specific character, and how they interact with certain other friends, this is interesting to see how differently they at with friends than they do with say their spouses.
The book is well written, and though contains adult theme's, contains very little graphic sexual content, there is plenty of "modern" language!
Price wise this will set you back a few mere pounds via www.amazon.co.uk
This is a nice enough read, though not excellent, I am glad I read it, but am pretty sure I will never read it again.
Thanks for reading x
When I buy a book it's usually the fancy front cover that convince me to buy it, this is a habit i'm trying to get out of.
When I came across this book the cover wasn't that eye catching, I must tell you that the picture on dooyoo is different to that of my book.
The front picture of my book is of a young couple on a sofa in an embrace, whilst the man's hand is reached out to hold another womans hand, who is sitting on the very end of the sofa.
I think it was the title that intrigued me more than anything- friends, lovers and other indiscretions.
I thought there was so much potential in a title like that, so I bought it.
The plot: Laura is a doctor and her husband Sam is a writer for a television programme, Laura is very succsessful but would like to work part-time so that she can spend more time with their 2 young children.
However she is unable to do that as Sam's career isn't going as well as hers, infact he hasn't told her that he doesn't have his job anymore.
Laura and Sam's best friend is Jonathon, he's a up and coming chef and owns a fancy resturant with his wife, Hannah.
They are the envy of their friends as there the golden couple that are still madly in love with each other after years of marraige.
There other friend is Janey, she's been climbing the career ladder at her law firm and is determined not to let a little thing like being heavily pregnant get in her way.
Her husband, Steve is recently new to the group of friends and doesn't really understand why there all so close.
The friend's decide to all go on holiday together.
At first things start off well, but then small cracks start to appear in the friendships as they all hold many secrets from each other.
Many things are about to be revealed, will they be able to keep there freindships or will these secrets be too much to handle?
The story didn't capture my attention straight away, because it spends the first half of the book trying to describe the characters and their relationships.
I'm happy that I persevered though as I found if I didn't understand the characters as well as I did, I wouldn't have appreciated the ending of the story.
I really warmed to some of the characters, I felt like the Author, Fiona Neill had really put alot of thought into the characters and all the relationships.
I have read a few books before were the relationships description was so brief, that when something major happened I wasn't moved because I didn't feel anything about the relationship.
I loved the character of Laura, she's so neurotic and paranoid about what she thinks her husband may or may not be doing, it's quite funny.
Janey's character was quite funny as well, she is so meticulous and straight-laced with her work, that it rubs off on the way she treats her baby.
She has to follow everything by the book and when anyone gives her advice she dismisses it as it's not in the baby book.
I always like the parts when the adult conversations get overheard by Laura's children, Nell and Ben.
I found that when things were getting a little serious in the story, Nell and Ben would say something about what they've overheard, they don't quite understand but they have a knack of saying it how it is, and getting the adults thinking 'well why didn't we think of it like that'.
That had me laughing all the way through, as the old saying comes to mind 'out of the mouths of babes'.
Each chapter is from a different characters point of view, as to get into the lives of all of the characters.
I would describe it as reading someone's diary, as you really get a personal look into the characters lives and relationships.
I bought this book for 6 pounds 99 pence from WHSmiths, but I know you can get it from amazon at a cheaper price.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it proves that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.
Sam and Laura Diamond are almost forty, and the credit crunch has just begun to bite. Both worrying about their increasing age, the partnership has become a little uncomfortable, and they aren't in touch with each other anymore. Laura wants to give up her job and have a third child, to complete the family she's longed for. Sam wants to give up his job, and definitely no more children.
Life isn't much easier for high flying Janey, who has just left the love of her life and found out that shes pregnant. Not wanting to be a single mother, she rushes into a marriage with a very boring but wealthy fund manager, who hates her friends and wants her to give up her corporate lawyer position to be a stay at home mum to her child.
Jonathans life is much more on track, with his restaurant going from strength to strength, and his own TV show and book coming out very soon. He even has a glamorous wife, Hannah, who looks good on his arm and is a truly wonderful person...but that doesn't stop him from endlessly flirting with other women, which Hannah has definitely noticed, and is having an affair of her own.
Realizing that he needs to save his marriage, although not the full extent of the problems, Jonathan arranges a meet up...which leads to fireworks! I loved Hannah, who was portrayed as such a truly likeable and realistic character, without having too be boring, fat or frumpy, which 'nice' people in chic lit usually are. Jonathan is the dreaded husband, but very entertaining to read about, and Janey's life is gripping.
It isn't the best writing I've ever read, but it is readable, and very much in the realms of popular chic lit books at the moment. My sisters loved it too, so its a popular story, if a little confusing at times.
Sam and Laura Diamond are struggling to make ends meet. She's a doctor working all hours and he's a script-writer, although he's hiding something about his employment status from his wife. Their friends are struggling too. Corporate laywer Janey is expecting her first child with hedge fund manager Steve, and he knows his job isn't safe. Jonathan and Hannah also have their own problems despite owning a chain of successful restaurants and moving to the country. Jonathan decides to treat them all to a holiday to celebrate his birthday but secrets are revealed, shocking everyone and changing friendships forever.
This book seems a very modern one, with the author commenting about the effects of the "credit crunch" on her characters, and also the effect it has had on the world of banking. I haven't read Fiona Neill's first book yet, The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy, but it has had good reviews and is one I will be looking out for. This book is Neill's second release through Century and has so far been released in hardback copy. The bright red cover stands out on your bookshelf nicely, and I was looking forward to reading this as the synopsis sounded like a book I would very much enjoy.
The themes that run through the book are relationships, children (and the issue of wanting more), secrets and finances. It is definitely a grown-up version of chick-lit, not the light fluffy stuff I usually read and therefore it was immediately different for me. The book is written in the third person so we are able to follow the different couples and characters around seamlessly and Neill's writing style allows this to be easily done, and is eas to follow as well. When you have a book with multiple characters contributing to a story, it needs to be simple in its narration and this book delivers on that.
The characters all seem very realistic, and this allowed me to really get absorbed into the book and care about what was happening in the story. Sam and Laura are the main characters of the story and the ones the reader follows the most. Sam is struggling with his work, and doesn't want a third baby, no matter how much Laura wants one. She is the breadwinner of the family and sometimes resents Sam for the time he gets with their 2 children. The dynamic between the pair was very believable and I did feel sorry for both of them at points because I couldn't help but feel they weren't talking enough and that they were a very happy couple under the exterior! Janey and Steve weren't seen as much, but Janey wasn't someone I could really relate to therefore I wasn't too sad I didn't see more of her! Jonathan and Hannah were my least favourites, neither of them were nice people and I make sure I don't have people like them in my life! They were necessary for the story but I just couldn't bring myself to like them at all.
One sour point in the book for me was that the tone was quite depressing throughout. There didn't seem to be much happiness in the book whatsoever, and all the characters were consequently quite miserable because of it. I really wanted something to happen to make them all smile and be happy, but it didn't materialise. Happiness is definitely one thing this book could have done with but it's still a great read without that, if a tad depressing at times. The pace of the book was good. It didn't span a huge time scale but that allowed the author to concentrate on character development and the direction of the story. There were several unanswered questions throughout that are slowly revealed, and I loved that part of it and I was guessing the whole way what had happened in the earlier life of the characters!
If you enjoy a well-written story then Friends, Lovers and Indiscretions is definitely a book for you. Neill has carefully created a bunch of likeable and believable characters who are centred around their old friendships but secrets that bind them all together as well. The locations are described well, particularly the holiday destination which was so well written I felt like I was there! I found it hard to put this book down because I wanted to find out more, and the constantly changing relationships in the book kept me hooked. I really enjoyed reading this and was sad to finish it, but at least I can look out for Neill's first book now! Highly recommended.
ISBN: 978-1846051128. Published by Century in May 2009. The hardback contains 400 pages.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for chicklitreviews.wordpress.com
Thanks for reading.