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This is the first of Jane Fallon's books that I have read so I can't comment on the similarity to other books etc, but I can say that Getting Rid of Matthew was a very easy going, enjoyable read. Not usually being a fan of this particular genre, I was a bit wary to begin with but the book turned out to be a breath of fresh air compared to the usual, cliched 'chic-lit' nonsense about relationships.
Yes, there are some plot twists that you can see from a mile off but Getting Rid of Matthew is not the usual story of the heroine finding herself and getting what she wants. Helen has been having an affair with Matthew for 4 years and thinks she want him to leave his wife... when he does and turns up at her house she changes her mind. You would think that we would dislike a character like this but Fallon tells the story from a range of perspectives - Helen, Matthew and his ex-wife, which results in a cleverly told story that evokes a range of emotions and thoughts.
This is a fresh book in a stale genre and one I would recommend for some light reading.
This is a review of the 2007 book 'Getting rid of Matthew' by Jane Fallon.
***A bit about the plot**
The story is about 'the other woman' Helen who is having an affair with a married man Matthew (her boss) who is 20 years older than her. She gets what she wants, Matthew to leave his wife and move in only to discover it's not what she wants at all. Living together she discovers all his failings, his bald spot, hair dye and snoring habit. The book follows Helen on her mission to send Matthew back to his wife Sophie.
I really liked this book, it was well written, amusing and actually I didn't really like the main character Helen, she is also hated by her work colleagues and although she shows a compassionate side, she has no guilt for the four and a half year affair she's had with a married man.
**Room for improvement?***
Helen only has one friend (Rachel) in the book, and when she gets a boyfriend they lose touch. Helen is impatient with Rachel for her wedding plans bore her. She is clearly not a girl's girl anyway but you'd think she'd make more effort for her best and only friend!
As much as Helen is career minded, she can't seem to get on at work due to spending most of her twenties and thirties travelling abroad. At 40 she longs for a career in PR but only gets secretarial work in the field. I've worked in PR since leaving University and it's nothing like as described in this book. OK so everyone thinks it's glamorous and star studded but it really isn't!
***About the author**
This is Jane Fallon's first novel and she has written two other books since which I'll be looking out for. In real life, Fallon is the partner of Ricky Gervais and also known for her producing, having worked on This Life, Eastenders and Teachers.
**Would I recommend?**
Yes! This is one of the better 'Chick Lit' books I've read recently and I think Jane Fallon has a real talent. I've hardly put the book down since I started it two days ago and I managed to work two long days at that. (Perhaps the train commute to Leeds helped a bit though!!)
Some of the storyline was genius... I won't say what as it would totally ruin it for you if you actually wanted to read it yourself. If you've ever been in a relationship that has been difficult to end then this is definitely a read for you!
Getting rid of Matthew is a fantastically humorous novel written by Jane Fallon. Adele Parks describes it as being "better than reading your best friends diary, its like reading your worst enemy's diary."
Matthew is married to Sophie and they have two beautiful children together, but Matthew has a secret called Helen, his mistress.
Helen and Matthew have been seeing each other for 4 years, Helen, who is also Matthews assistant, wants Matthew to leave his wife so they can be a real couple, but Matthew tells her that he will leave when the time is right, she waits for him because she feels she has invested to much time on him to just walk away.
When Matthew actually leaves his wife its too late as Helen no longer wants him, she realises she can do better than him. In the beginning Helen tries to make the relationship work between her and Matthew, she fails miserably at befriending his children and she realises at 34 she is to young for Matthew who is in his late 50's and knows she is no longer attracted to him. She has to make a plan in order to get rid of him so she stops shaving, stops having sex with him and snogs his son, who is more to her age.
She befriends Sophie, as Sophie has never met or seen Matthews mistress she is unaware it is Helen who has caused her marriage to break up. Sophie and Helen become good friends....... But will Sophie find out who Helen is? Will Helen get rid of Matthew? Will Sophie take him back?
This is an absolute must read, Jane Fallon is an extremely talented writer; the novel is a real page turner. I actually felt quite sad when I finished it because it was so enjoyable. It's full of humour, excitement, suspense and romance, it's everything you could want in a book.
If, like me, you are left wanting more then I would recommend reading Fallons second novel got you back.
Getting Rid of Matthew is the debut novel from Jane Fallon. Previous to becoming an Author Jane Fallon was best known for her work on Teachers, This Life and even Eastenders. So my expectations for this novel were high.
The concept of the story is great, Helen, the lead character has for the last 4 years been having an affair with a married man but has always dreamed of more. But then this soon becomes her worst nightmare, when Matthew leaves his wife and 2 children behind to move in with Helen.
And Helen soon realise's that actually, the grass is not always greener on the other side and is soon on a mission to destroy the relationship she has been desperate for, for the last 4 years.
Along the way trouble looms when she befriends Matthews wife Sophie.
The problem is, on paper so to speak this should be great but i found the writing to be rather lacking and very amatuer. With the sort of experience Jane Fallon had i was hoping to be blown away but was left very dissapointed.
But it has not put me off reading more and hopefully with time her confidence will grow as she has the potential to be brilliant!
Having recently read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Jane Fallon's second novel, Got You Back, I looked forward to reading this, her debut novel. I managed to pick up a copy of Getting Rid Of Matthew in a local charity shop, paying only £1.50, rather than the RRP of £6.99, so I got a bargain.
Settling down to read this novel I found myself enjoying the relaxed writing style of Jane Fallon once more. There were some similarities in terms of plot between this and her subsequent novel. Both stories feature a married man having an affair with another woman. In 'Getting Rid of Matthew', the married man is a successful businessman (Matthew) who has been having a long-term affair with one of his employees (Helen) behind his wife's back (Sophie.) In a clever twist, this novel sees the married man leave his wife and children and move in with his lover - only for Helen to realise that she no longer wants to be with him. The story sees Helen's increasingly desperate and funny attempts to 'get rid' of Matthew and, ultimately, engineer a return to his wife, Sophie. (No spoilers here, by the way, I haven't told you anything that isn't on the back cover.)
A few chapters into the story, I started to realise that I wasn't quite as engrossed in it as I had been in Fallon's other work. Essentially, the problem was that I didn't particularly like any of the characters and, consequently, didn't really care too much about what happened to them! I imagine it would be difficult to create a character who has knowingly been having an affair with a married man for four years and make them into a likeable character. Personally, I don't think that the author succeeded with Helen's character as I found her to be a very self-centred shallow personality and the kind of person that I would avoid being friends with in real life. I think Fallon tries to make the readers feel sympathetic towards Helen as she is portrayed as being very insecure and lonely but I just felt that Helen was the author of her own destiny really. This got worse for me when Matthew eventually left his wife and children to be with Helen and she realised she had changed her mind - after messing up so many lives! I appreciate that this situation is what creates the humour in the story but it certainly wasn't a 'laugh out loud' novel for me.
As for the other characters, Matthew quickly deteriorates from a successful, decisive businessman into a pathetic, snivelling old man. Again, I found it hard to feel any sympathy towards him or to care very much about his fate. Even Sophie, the wronged wife, was such a cliche of the perfect wife and mother - successful career woman, beautiful, organised, a great mother, understanding, caring woman etc etc - that I (being somewhat less than flawless) couldn't identify with her, either! The upshot was that I was somewhat less engrossed in the storyline than I should have been.
I did like the premise of the story itself. It was well-written and well-timed with a clear sense that things are about to go horribly wrong for Helen. Such was the sense of impending doom that, when it did finally all come crashing down, it was a bit of an anti-climax for me. What a disappointment!
The novel is written in the third person but I felt it would have been just as successful, if not better, if it had been written from Helen's perspective as the majority of the storyline does focus on Helen and her attempts to persuade Matthew to leave. Had it been written solely from Helen's point of view, I might have been able to empathise with her a bit better.
All in all, the novel itself was an enjoyable way to pass a few hours but, certainly in comparison to Jane Fallon's follow-up novel, was a bit disappointing. Perhaps I would have felt more positive about this novel had I not read 'Got You Back' first and had such high hopes for this story. If you are looking for some engaging chick lit, I'd certainly recommend reading Fallon's second novel rather than her debut work.
Getting Rid of Matthew is Jane Fallon's first novel, it centres around the complicated life of Helen, who is 39 years old and having an affair with a married man, Matthew.
Matthew works for a PA Company, representing 'celebrities' and ends up falling in love with his secretary, Helen, and embarking on a 4 year affair, whilst his wife, Sophie, is non the wiser.
After 4 years of pleading with Matthew to leave his wife and set up home with her, Helen finally gets what she wished for when Matthew turns up on her doorstep, possessions in tow, but she then decides that she doesn't want Matthew anymore, and tries her best to make him leave, hence the name of the book!
The rest of the stories centres around the lengths that Helen will go to, to get Matthew to go back to his wife and two children, including befriending Sophie! It is then when you start to feel sorry for Helen, rather than see her as a homewrecking bitch, you see how she is trying to rectify her mistakes and ensure that Sophie and Matthew can live happily ever after.
As the story evolves, the deceit grows and you become hooked, wanting to find out if Helen manages to get rid of Matthew without anyone finding out about her web of lies. Helen manages to alienate herself even further when she kisses Matthews son Leo, who Sophie introduced her to. When the realisation kicks in, she knows that its going to be harder than ever to come out of the relationship with her dignity in tact. When Matthew's mum dies, we see Helen go to drastic lengths to avoid the funeral, which Sophie and Leo will be also attending.
I won't spoil whether Helen manages to get rid of Matthew, or whether her web of lies is unravels before her eyes, however, I will encourage you to go and buy this book! I would class it as chic lit, but chic lit that doesn't follow the normal pattern, chic lit that may not have the usual happy ever after ending. It is a real page turner, once I picked it up I couldn't put it down and had finished it within 2 days of buying it.
The characters evolve throughout the story and you can't help but feel gripped by what could happen next, it is a book that can make you laugh and then cry within a few pages. You find yourself wanting to delve into the story and give a few of them a good shake and make them see what they are doing to each other.
All in all it is a fantastic read and I would recommend it to all!
This has got to be one of my favourite books ever! Unlike the usual cliched story of how a wife doesn't know that her husband is being unfaithful, this is the hilarious story told from the other side of the story...the mistress.
Helen is a respectible secutary, who works for a big company and just so happens to have an ever-so-handsome boss...Matthew.
Helen knows that Matthew is married and has children but refuses to let him go because he's the only man who has ever truly loved her for who she is.
We follow Helen through her desperate stuggle and various attempts to bring Matthew's marriage to an end...which ultimately ends with her "bumping into" Matthews wife Sophie.
Helen gives Sophie directions one day in a coffee shop not realising that her kindness to a woman she strives to seperate from her husband will result in a true friendship.
Helen and Sophie then start meeting up regulalry for drinks, and both women talk about their partners (which happen to be the same man).
Once Helen has established a true freindship with Sophie she finds that she has got in too deep and when Matthew finally leaves Sophie, Helen begins to regret her eagerness for this to happen.
This is when Helen decides its time to start "getting rid of Matthew" and we follow her through a chain of hilariuos events trying to get Matthew to leave her such as leaving incontenance pads around their flat, not listening to him and constantly critising his thoughts.
A really great story about the strain put on marriage and friendships due to love affairs. And not only is it a meaningful book it also provides non-stop-laughter!
A really great summer read for anyone looking for a book they won't be able to put down!
This book has been sat on my shelf for a while, and after reading "The Outcast" I fancied a bit of light reading, but I got a bit more enjoyment out of this than I thought I would!! Heres why....
Getting Rid Of Matthew is about 39 year old Helen who, for the past four years has been having an affair with married man - yes you have guessed it - Matthew. One day Matthew decides to leave his wife Sophie and their two daughters for good and moves in with Helen, but rather than be thrilled to have her lover for the past couple of years to herself all of a sudden, she starts to change her mind and want her old life back.
Helen now has to try and work out a way of getting rid of Matthew. This is not as easy as it seems as Helen has to try and do it without hurting his feelings (he left his wife for her and now she feels guilty.) We find Helen hatching plans that include being lax with her personal hygiene, befriending his estranged wife and kissing his eldest son. Hilarity and chaos ensues......
Helen is in turns is unlikeable, funny, loveable and exasperating as a character in this book. At approaching 40, she feels like her life is at a dead end, all her friends are married except one, who has just got herself engaged and cant stop talking about her wedding plans, she's been seeing a married man, she thinks she is too old and has missed her chance to get into a dream career in PR and is now stuck as a PA to a woman who has succeeded where Helen didn't.
Its not hard to see why she at first appears unlikeable. As a female reader, its hard at first to sympathise with a woman who has been sleeping with a married man with kids for four years and then decides she doesn't want him just when he finally leaves his wife.
However, as the story progresses, Helen is developed into someone who admittedly made the wrong decision, but ultimately wants to make up for it. Racked with guilt, Helen goes out of her way to find Sophie, Matthews wife just to make sure she is ok, but ends up making friends with her. Soon their friendship means that Sophie is confiding in her about her husband, Helen then makes it her quest to make Matthew see that he made the wrong decision in choosing her.
Sophie on the other hand has lived a comfortable if quiet life. Happy with her husband and daughters, Sophie never really had close female friends and stopped bothering completely with making new friends when she married Matthew. (Who, incidentally, left his first wife and grown up son to be with Sophie. )
Sophie is genuine caring, intelligent and loving and it is interesting reading the chapters where Sophie and Helen meet up as friends (Helen changes her name) to discuss the other woman that Matthew has left Sophie for. The fact that Sophie as complete trust in Helen makes it even more compelling reading and I felt torn between wanting Helen to confess her real identity so that Sophie would not be misled, and wanting to preserve their very real and trusting friendship.
Matthew is a very interesting character. Throughout the book my opinion on him fluctuated dramatically. When he moves in with Helen I felt slightly sorry for him, Helen no longer wanted him but he desperately tried to make it work as he is incapable of being on his own. His constant lies and deceit make him quite a despicable character towards the end, and ultimately Helen (as well as Sophie) are just conquests in a line of many and so it isn't difficult to side with Helens way of thinking at all!
Usually, I flit between what I'd call "decent" reading and chick lit, alternating the two. I was given this by someone at work who said she had enjoyed it but I wasn't expecting much.
However, I have to say that much to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it is definitely one of the better books in this genre that I've read for a while.
What makes this stand out from the crowd is probably the humour - I found myself not exactly laughing at loud but certainly smirking at several points in the book where the writing is just brilliant. Helens humour is sarcastic and witty and its one of the loveable parts to her character.
Matthews young daughter Claudia is also very funny, having picked up on swear words, she uses them at every opportunity she gets which makes for very funny reading. Its not surprising then that the author is a TV Producer who has penned "This Life" and "Teachers" and is partner to comedy genius that is Ricky Gervais.
Aside from the humour, this book stands apart from the other books in this genre because doesn't follow the pretty much worn out plot line of:
girl is lonely
girl meets boy
girl and boy have a misunderstanding
Girl and boy realise they are being silly and live happily ever after
However, I will say that the ending was somewhat predictable, if not a bit unrealistic. I'd say that was Jane Fallons only mistake with this one. I really enjoyed the plot, the humour, the characters were real and believable and I am looking forward to Fallons next creation - hoping its as good as her debut!
Getting Rid of Matthew is the first book written by Jane Fallon and for a debut it's absolutely stunning. From the very first page I was drawn into the lives of the brilliant characters and I really did not want to put it down. It's an immensely readable book with all the right ingredients.
The book tells the story of Helen who has been having an affair with Matthew (an older married man) for the last four years. The one thing that she has wanted more thn anything else is for him to leave his wife and move in with her. Strangely though, when this finally does happen, she is far from happy. She has gone off him in big way but does not know how to let him down especially after he hs apparently sacrificed everything for her! From then on the novel charts the enormous lengths she goes to in order to get rid of Matthew!
These efforts include secretly befriending Matthew's wife Sophie and subtly encouraging her to take Matthew back if he ever asks. She also sets about showing Matthew a less attractive side of herself in an attempt to get him to think more favourably of Sophie. Things are further confused when Sophie introduces Helen to Matthew's estranged son Leo as there is an instant attraction between the two! Also as Helen and Matthew work together there is a danger that Sophie might discover her identity through their colleagues.
I loved the way that all these problems became more and more interwoven as Helen became more and more entangled in her web of lies. She has told Sophie that her name is Eleanor which causes great problems when she is spotted when out by her friends who obviously call her Helen! All her problems multiply when Matthew's mother dies suddenly and there is the prospect of a funeral which will also be attended by Sophie and Leo. Obviously Helen just cannot go and it's great to read about all her efforts to get out of it!
This is a fabulous book and it's also very funny even though it deals with the sunjects of infidelity, separation and mistrust. I just loved the way Helen managed to dig herself in it so deep and it was very well structured the way one deceit led to another. You could just seeing it getting worse and worse and that is very compelling as it just made me want to read on to see if and how she ever managed to get out of the hole she was digging herself!
The characters were absolutely spot on too especially the characters of Helen and Sophie. You really feel as though you shouldn't like Helen that much especially as she has stolen another woman's husband but you just can't help it! She is immensely likeable and I really enjoyed reading how hers and Sophie's friendship developed. Sophie's character develops as the book progresses too and she comes out a much stronger confident character by the end of it. Matthew is an interesting character too and seems quite weak and lacking in many areas. The way the book is written the reader tends to go off him as and when Helen does. There are also a couple of daughters, Suzanne and Claudia, and it's interesting to read the typical problems of meeting a new partner's children.
I really could not wait to see how this book finished and there were so many questions that I wanted answered. Does Helen manage to get rid of Matthew? Does Sophie take him back? Is it possible for the two women to remain friends? Is there any chance for Helen and Leo? Obviously I'm not going to say what happens in the end but it's well worth finding out!
As you can probably tell I absolutely loved this book and I am so impressed that it is Jane Fallon's first novel. I really can't wait to see what she writes next!
the paperback version is available on Amazon for only £3.99.
My work likes to encourage us to read as much as humanly possible. Maybe its to try and boost the staff moral, maybe its to give us something to distract us from complaining. Either way, it has a handy little book swap going on, which is where I picked out this little gem.
After sitting in my desk drawer for a month, it finally got picked up. I didn't really expect to like it that much. It sounded incredibly girly and full of unneccisary drama. Girly it was. Unneccisary, most likely, but onwards I went and found that, apparently, girly and unneccisary is something I quite like in a book. Once in a while that is...hmm...
It starts off about 4 years into a rather one sided relationship between Helen and Matthew. He's married (not to her) with kids (not to her) living in a lovely house (not with her) (you get the point right?)
After a four years of begging from Helen and one hectic christmas with his rather lothesome family, Matthew finally leaves his wife and comes to live with Helen. Of course the first Helen hears of this is when he shows up on her doorstep. Gotta love blokes eh.
All of a sudden she has what she wanted. At around about the same point she begins to notice exactly what a pain in the ass Matthew really is. Now all she wants is to get rid of the guy.
This is where most sensible people would, like the grange hill bunch, just say no. There wouldn't be a story in that though, would there? Of course not!
Instead, without going into too much detail (at least nothing you wont get in the blurb) she manages to befreind matthews ex wife to be using an incredibly original pseudo name (Elenor), snog his son and basically make a complete balls up of her life.
The author definatley knows how to go about building up the laughs, this book had me giggling away the whole way through, even at the more serious moments. Following Helen through these few months we get to see the side of her that every woman hates to show (I'm talking sweat pants, fuzzy hair, bitching, moaning and doing everything in her power to get her own way) and yet it just makes you love her even more.
There are some amazing memorable moments throughout this book, with some characters getting what the deserve and others getting more than they bargained for. It certainly keeps you on your toes and by golly leaves you wanting more... and apparently leaves me saying "by golly" *note to self, don't ever say that again*
That's possibly the only downside of this great story. You might suffer withdrawal symptoms when you reach the end.
You can pick this one up for around a fiver depending on where you shop.
Full of laughter and some very gratifying moments, you can't help but love this book. Now stop reading this and go and read it!!
(review also on ciao)
I first saw this book when it was on offer in my local bookstore, and the plot looked like something I would be interested in so I thought I would give it a go. I am so glad I did, I think this is one of the best books I have read in a long time! The characters, storyline and everything about the book is fantastic. So here is my review of "Getting Rid Of Matthew" by Jane Fallon.
This novel is Jane Fallon's first as an author although she is a successful television producer, producing such brilliant shows as This Life and Teachers. Jane also has a famous partner in the way of TV STar Ricky Gervais. The pair have been together since 1984.
The plot focuses around one main character, Helen, and her life with her boyfriend Matthew. However, things are not going to plan for Helen, and she decides she doesnt want to be with Matthew anymore...but there is the small matter of the wife and children at home he left to be with her!
Helen has been having an affair with Matthew Shallcross for about 6 years, and desperately wants him to leave his wife and children to be with her. However, Matthew wants his cake and to eat it, so he stays at home, seeing Helen on the side while his unsuspecting wife Sophie is at home looking after their 2 daughters.
After one big argument with Sophie, Matthew tells her the truth and turns up on Helen's doorstep...it couldn't have come at a worse time for Helen really! She is doubting her relationship with Matthew after she finds out the ladies at work don't think Matthew is all that much of a catch. Helen realises she is 30 year old with no career to speak of, and a married man living in her flat.
She decides she must get Matthew and Sophie back together again, and decided the best thing to do is to become Sophie's new best friend, under an alias. She introdcues her to a man Helen very much likes, and shares a few kisses with. He however turns out to be more involved than either of them could have imagined!
The story is written with a lot of humour, wit and a wonderful tone throughout the book which makes you want to keep reading and get to the end! The ending could be seen as slightly predictable but does not take anything away from the book. You actually spend half of the book disliking Helen for her lifestyle, but you still in a way have to feel sorry for her because she just doesn't know how to get rid of Matthew!
If you like a light-hearted funny, witty read, then you will love this book. Jane Fallon has written a superb novel here, and I do hope she continues to writes more novels, as I will certainly be buying them! The novel is printed by Penguin Books, and was released in 2007. The book retails for 6.99 pounds, although you can find it for considerably less online and in supermarkets. Fantastic, read, try it!
This fascinating book is the first novel by Jane Fallon.