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Hell hath no fury like TWO women scorned...
Got You Back - Jane Fallon
Member Name: burtybookworm
Got You Back - Jane Fallon
Date: 26/11/08, updated on 26/11/08 (289 review reads)
Advantages: enjoyable reading, good plot, once again a different take on chick lit
Disadvantages: Not as funny as her debut
The second book by Jane Fallon (the first being the very enjoyable and funny Getting Rid of Matthew) is a tale of revenge. Once again the story is set around an affair and the three people involved.
Stephanie has spent nine years in what she thinks is a happy marriage with James. James divides his time between his home with Stephanie and their son Finn in London and his job as a vet whilst the other half of the week is spent in the Country at his own veterinary practise...whilst living with his girlfriend Katie. James thinks he has his life pretty sorted - the old cliché "having your cake and eating it" springs to mind - until Stephanie reads a text message from Katie to James one day that leaves her in no doubt that James has been having an affair. What ensues turns all three of their lives upside down, as the two women get together to plot their revenge...
I've mentioned this before, but "chick lit" isn't usually my top choice of reading. I like reading it now and again as a bit of light entertainment. I was thoroughly impressed with "Getting Rid of Matthew" so I was keen to read this and to see if she could back up her excellent debut!
The answer is...
She does, almost. It is hard not to do a comparison to her first book, they both hold the same theme of adultery. However, I enjoyed the different twist that Fallon put on this story - that instead of Katie (the girlfriend) being the knowing bit of the side, she is in fact as in the dark about James's double life as his wife Stephanie is. Once the two women realise that they have been humiliated and cheated on by their husband/boyfriend, they hatch several plans so that James will suffer. As a result, it is James the unfaithful husband that is duped and not the women who have fallen victim to his cheating ways. Once again Jane Fallon has managed to turn an ordinary tale in mundane chick lit land into an interesting story of revenge that made me keep reading just to see the results of the womens plotting!
I found that both Stephanie and Katie were likeable characters so it wasn't hard to get behind them in their quest to humiliate James - equally, James' actions and increasingly, his snobbish and cocky attitude made it easy for me to dislike him. The story is made interesting by alternating the perspectives, we see the story from Katie, Stephanie and James' point of view.
Like her debut, the story is fast paced and I enjoyed having my spare 15 minutes on the bus reading it. I also liked that I thought I knew how the book was going to end but by half way through I realised that there must be something else.
It is also around the half way point in the book that I started to change my perspective of James' character.
The development of his character is fairly dramatic over the course of the book and I'm tempted to say that it was a bit of a miraculous change - but at the same time it worked and slowly - although not entirely liking him - I did feel sorry for him. The acts of humiliation are fantastic to read about and I felt the sense of triumph that the women had when it all went to plan, but when Stephanie felt that things had gone too far, it was also at this point that I felt that things had gone a step too far, so I think that the author judged this accurately and the change in the story reflected that.
Overall, I would recommend this for chick lit fans and especially If you haven't read her first book. I do think it is a good read but it wasn't quite as exciting and as funny as her first. It is still well written perfectly balanced as a light hearted read and different with its quirky twist on this tales of romance, a refreshing change from the happily ever afters you get from these genres.
Summary: After chick lit? This makes the perfect change to the usual stuff