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In My Sister's Shoes - Sinead Moriarty

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Author: Sinead Moriarty / Genre: Fiction

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      02.11.2009 20:10
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      A fabulous book!

      Sinead Moriarty- In my Sisters Shoes


      The Author

      I had never heard of Sinead Moriarty until I bought this book, which I only bought because I thought it sounded good in the blurb. But since looking Moriarty up for a little insight into her, she is actually quite a big writer.

      Sinead Moriarty is Irish, she was born in Dublin, ever since she was a child she wanted to be a writer since watching her mother, a children's book author, writing her stories, and then getting them published, it became Sinead's dream to write a novel.
      Moriarty moved to Paris and then London after studying at University, but it wasn't until she was 30 that she started to live her dream, and started writing her stories in her spare time. When she joined a creative writing group she began writing her first novel The Baby Trail, a comedy about a couple struggling to conceive, which was soon snapped up by Penguin books. Sinead has, since writing The Baby Trail, moved back to Dublin where she now lives with her husband, two sons and baby daughter.

      She has written more books:
      A Perfect Match
      From here to Maternity
      Whose Life is it anyway
      In my Sister's Shoes

      Since reading In My Sister's shoes, I will certainly be buying more of her books!

      Story
      In My Sister's shoes is the story of two sisters, Kate and Fiona O'Brien.
      Kate is living her dream in London, she's finally got her own show even if it is on a tiny channel with low viewings, and her own flat, even if it is a tiny box in the city! She has everything she has ever wanted, and she has worked so hard to get it!

      Fiona is Kate's older sister, she never left Dublin like her sister and is happy with her little family close by, she never craved the limelight like her younger sister. She is more than happy living in her little house with her husband and her twin sons, with her dad and rapper brother, Derek close by.
      But when Fiona get's cancer, the same cancer which killed her mother years before. Kate is forced to leave her job, and come back to Dublin, to help look after the twins; Bobby and Jack, while Fiona is having her chemo and radiotherapy, while her husband, Mark, worked on his Goldwin Prize and generally hides away at work.

      So Kate is back living with her dad, the exact place she never wanted to be again. And with Sam back in her life, her old love who she left when she ran away to get a job in London, now married (though separated) and working in Dublin, with no aspiration to move to London, still!
      With her dad sleeping with her old gym teacher, and her 27 year old brother trying to get into fame with the grungy Gonzo who keeps making a pass at her. Kate's life gets flipped upside down, trying to take care of two five year old boys, and trying not to worry about her sister's cancer, everything starts piling on top of her.

      Will she ever be able to return to her old life, there's already a leggy blonde presenting HER show, and she is finding herself growing fonder and fonder of living at home. But she can't let all that hard work go to waste!
      The story is extremely heart-warming, and shows the love and support of sisters and the closeness of family when you need them most. The story is very sad yet has just the right amount of comedy to keep it light and not completely morbid and all about Fiona's cancer.

      The story is excellent and nothing like I have read before, it isn't really chick lit although there are elements in there with the relationship between Sam and Kate, but is more about the relationship between the two sisters, family secrets and changes. It just shows that no matter what your family do, they will always be your family, and they'll always love you, just as you'll always love them, no matter what.
      It's a beautiful story, but I couldn't help feeling like it was unfinished at the end, it's the type of book which needs an epilogue (which it doesn't have), something like 1 year later, just so we know what happens in the end! I found myself turning the page over when I got the end of the book expecting there to be more on the next page as the end is just so abrupt and unexpected. So this is my only criticism of the book!


      Characters

      The characters in the book are very believable. Kate is a typical young woman, she wanted her independence, wanted out of the tiny Ireland and wanted the big time, she has high aspirations and won't give up on her dream for anybody. She's a very believable character, and we really see a huge change in her, she softens as the story goes on, and stops thinking about herself so much and put's everybody else first for a change.

      Fiona seems to be this boring woman who has to do everything perfectly, her children aren't allowed to eat sweets or have Pizza or in fact eat anything that isn't a Super Food or salad, but she has a secret past which is just waiting to come out.
      Mark is the most annoying character in the book, he is threatening and horrible to Kate when he forced her to leave her job to come and look after Fiona and the boys, just so he doesn't have to stop working on his Goldwin prize. He is a very unlikeable character who I don't think anyone could connect with, you just want to find him and give him a good slap, especially about halfway through the book when an event just shows his selfishness.

      All in all, the characters are a great bunch, and there are so many different personalities!

      Readabilty

      The book is very easy to read without been "simple", and it took me just two nights to read the 313 page book as I couldn't put it down! It's definitely a book which is addictive and you feel yourself just want to keep on reading the story and find out more and more about the characters. A great book for young adults, as well as the older generation.

      Overall

      This is definitely one of the favourite books I have read this year, it's brilliant and so different to anything else I have read. If you enjoy chick lit with a twist, you'll love this book, but make sure you have a tissue with you!!!!

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      • More +
        22.08.2009 09:10
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        An excellent book by a great author

        I recently read The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty and absolutely loved it so it was not surprising that I could not wait to get my hands on another of her books. The one I chose was In My Sister's Shoes which, in my opinion was even better. It was the sort of book that once I had started reading it; I could hardly put it down. In fact I read it in the space of two days which, considering I have two young daughters is some going!

        The story follows two sisters - Kate and Fiona. Kate is just embarking on a potentially successful TV presenting career and has left the family home in Dublin to seek her fortune in London. Fiona is married to Mark and they have five year old twin boys who often prove to be quite a handful. The sisters' lives could not be more different and they don't have that much in common, although as children they were quite close with Fiona having virtually bought Kate up after the death of their mother from cancer.

        However, things change dramatically when Fiona is diagnosed with breast cancer at the same age as their mother. Kate is persuaded by Mark to put her career on hold in order to come home and help while Fiona undergoes a painful operation and then months of chemotherapy followed by intense radiation. Kate is really torn especially as her career is just taking off and as she has only seen her nephews about twice a year she feels that she hardly knows them. However, there can only ever be one option for her so she returns, with a certain amount of trepidation, to Ireland.

        As you can imagine there are lots of ups and downs as both Kate and Fiona embark on their own journeys. It does not help that Kate does not get on with Fiona's husband, or that she does not have any experience of looking after small children. At first she is totally daunted and also a little resentful of having to be there, especially when Mark does not seem to be pulling his weight. However, as time passes, she grows to love the boys and also renews her close relationship with her sister as she tries to support her morally through her ordeal. Life gets more interesting when Sam, her first boyfriend appears back on the scene, but are the differences that caused them to separate first time around still there?

        As Fiona reaches the end of her treatment, Kate is faced with a difficult decision - does she return to London to resume her career or does she stay closer to home and enjoy the time she has with her family and son? There's only one way to find out and that is to read the book!

        This is a beautiful written book that had me hooked from the very first page. Sinead Moriarty has an extremely easy style to read and she has the ability to make you laugh one minute and to cry the next. It is an extremely poignant storyline which leads to some very moving writing. The emotions that both sisters go through are portrayed so well - their fear and determination and the realisation that Fiona is the same age as their mum when she died. There is also a younger brother called Derek who always presents a bit of light relief from the more sombre storyline. He is an aspiring rapper and along with his ever optimistic friend Gizmo, he is still waiting for his big break, causing their father to despair. Some of the things that they get up to just had me laughing out loud! He does have a more caring side though which is demonstrated when Fiona's hair starts to fall out. As an act of solidarity, both Kate and Derek decide to shave their heads as well which is much appreciated by Fiona. This was one of the most moving moments in the whole book and had me in floods of tears as I was reading!

        The story is written in the first person and is told by Kate so she is the character that the reader gets to know best of all. I always like first person accounts as I feel you really get inside the character's head, and this one is done especially well. Kate really does experience a whole gamut of emotions through the year in which the story takes place, and as a consequence, so does the reader. I really felt that I had been on an emotional rollercoaster by the time I finished reading. That was good though and as Kate is such an interesting character, she almost felt like a friend at the end.

        In My Sister's Shoes could have been a bit of a depressing read, especially with the descriptions of Fiona's treatment which is very traumatic. It is not depressing in the least though. It is moving, funny and one of the most uplifting books that I have read in a while. I heartily recommend it if you like this sort of book.

        The book is currently available on Amazon for £5.49.

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          18.12.2007 10:51
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          A great read

          I first became a fan of Sinead Moriarty's books when I read her first trilogy following a character who was trying to start a family with her husband. The writing was superb, the story was funny and easy to read so when I found out she had a new book out, I knew I would want to read it, so I popped down to the library and took it out.

          In My Sister's Shoes tells the story of Kate O'Brien, a young Irish woman who has just got a job working in television in London after many years of trying. However, family problems drag her back to Ireland after she finally gains her success. Kate has to look after her sister Fiona, her twin sons and her husband after years of looking after no-one but herself. Not to mention the love of Kate's life Sam coming back onto the scene after 7 long years. Will Kate be able to cope with the responsibility, and how will her family cope with Fiona's life-shattering revelations?

          Compared to her other books, I found this one was a little harder to get into than the others. I didn't particularly warm to the main character of Kate, as it was clear from the offset that she wasn't overly close to her family and seemed to see them as an inconvenience to her busy glamourous life in television. As I am the total opposite to that, I couldn't relate to her and therefore struggled with the first few chapters. However, I found that the book came alive after a little while, especially when Fiona's problem came to the forefront of the story.

          You can see that the author Moriarty has done a lot of research into the subject matter of what is wrong with Fiona. This was clear throughout the book as there is a lot of detail about it, different therapies and the different treatments that Fiona has to go through. This really enables you to feel empathy for Fiona and for her family, as you can see exactly what she is going through and what a toll it is taking on her and her family, especially with 2 young boys.

          One other thing I have always enjoyed in Moriarty's books, and this is most certainly the case with this book, is the wonderful way she has written the relationships between the various characters in the book. They are always well-developed, and incredibly realistic to read. Kate and Fiona are sisters, albeit not close sisters, yet when tragedy faces them they rally together and you can see the dynamic between the two women changing and eventually becoming a close and loving relationship. This made the book a joy to read, as you just wanted to read on to see how the two women would get on as Fiona faced more problems, and how Kate, a selfish self-sufficient person, would be able to help her and whether or not she would indeed sacrifice everything for her family.

          The author has done a brilliant job with what could be a miserable and depressing storyline. Instead, she has made an emotional, yet uplifting book about how one family faces up to a potential tradgedy and rallies together to support each other. The relationships are a joy to read, especially between Kate and Fiona, and also the sub plot of Kate and her ex-boyfriend Sam. This is a good little added extra to the book and allows you to escape the other plot for a short while. The characters are all very realistic, and although I didn't particularly the main character, by the end I really respected her and you were glad she was a different person to how she was at the start of the book. I would really recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an involving, well-written book which isn't your normal chick-lit.

          ISBN: 978-1844881390. Published by Penguin Ireland. The book contains 320 pages. Original release was August 2007. The author Sinead Moriarty was born in Ireland and has written 3 previous novels. In My Sister's Shoes is her fourth novel. For more information on the author and her other books, see her website: www.sineadmoriarty.com.

          Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!

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        • Product Details

          Kate O'Brien is thirty and has very little to think about except trying to keep her balance as she totters up London's media-land ladder. Fiona O'Brien is Kate's responsible older sister - with a husband, twin boys, a dog and now ...a life-changing problem. It's a problem that means Kate going back to Dublin, pronto. There she finds herself stepping into Fiona's shoes to look after two five-year-old scamps, as well as her widowed father, deluded rapper brother, disapproving brother-in-law and a host of assorted side-kicks. As if that wasn't enough, the ex she thought she'd got over years ago turns up to haunt her. Will either of the O'Brien sisters survive? And even if they do, can either of them slip back into their old shoes ever again?