Review of 'Never Too Late' a novel by Cathy Kelly.
I am reviewing the paperback version of the book, ISBN 978-0747260585, 567 pages, published by Headline Books, cover price £7.99. Genre:- Fiction/General.
Although the publisher markets this novel as Fiction/General, I feel that most people would categorise it as 'Chick-Lit'.
==The Plot and Characters==
Set in Ireland, Never Too Late focusses on a year in the life of 37 year old Evie Fraser, her family and close friends.
Evie has not had an easy life, her beloved mother died when Evie was in her teens. Evie helped her father, Andrew to bring up Cara, her younger sister. The age gap between the sisters is quite large as Cara was barely 6 years old when their mother passed away.
Evie married young and had a daughter, Rosie, but she was tragically widowed at the age of 21. She has devoted her life to Rosie since losing her husband and is a very organised sort of person, who likes nothing more than helping her father and sister, which is not always to their liking!
Evie is engaged to Simon, a 41 year old loss adjuster. Simon is not as exciting or dynamic as Evie's policeman husband was, but he is reliable, very sensible with money and devoted to his mother.
The storyline opens in the run up to Christmas. Evie, Rosie and Cara are to travel from Dublin back to the family home in Ballymoreen for the festivities. Evie and Rosie are driving down, Simon has declined the invitation as he feels he cannot leave his mother alone at Christmas. On arrival Evie and Rosie find the family home empty. Before long, Andrew Fraser arrives home accompanied by Vita, an elegant American widow. Evie's world is rocked when her father introduces Vita as his fiancée and try as she might, Evie cannot get her head around the fact that her father wishes to replace her mother.
Once the holiday is over and the family return to Dublin, Evie finds it harder and harder to accept the news of her father's impending marriage, she feels that her father is dishonouring the memory of his late wife by re-marrying.
Back in Dublin, Evie seems to be surrounded by problems, her best friend is in an unhappy marriage, she has fallen out with Cara over their father's plans and Simon suddenly seems as dull as ditch water.
Evie finally decides to attend her father's wedding and just as she is coming to terms with having a new step-mother, life throws another twist to her already difficult life.
Just what she does next....well, if you want to know, you'll have to read the book!
==About the Author==
*Cathy Kelly was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but brought up in Dublin. She started her working life as a journalist for an Irish national newspaper. She worked as both a news and feature reporter, and worked as the paper's film critic for five years, as well as being the agony aunt for seven years.
Her first book, Woman To Woman, was published in 1997 and was an instant best seller, the novel spent eight weeks at number one on the Irish best-seller charts. Her subsequent novels have been number ones all around the world and are published in many different languages. Cathy has a total of 13 novels under her belt.
Cathy lives in Wicklow in Ireland with her partner, John, and their twin sons, Murray and Dylan.
In 2005, she was appointed as a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador. She's since visited Mozambique and Rwanda as part of her work with UNICEF. Global Parenting which involves caring for children orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS, is the main focus of her work with UNICEF.
*My research source for information about the author was her web site which can be found at:-
==Availability and Cost==
my copy of Never too Late carries the cover price of £7.99, however I purchased it for £2.00 in Asda. A quick web search conducted today brought up the following stockists and prices:-
www.amazon.co.uk £4.99 new, from 0.01p used
www.ebay.co.uk £2.49 new, from 0.50p used
==My Thoughts and Conclusion==
Cathy Kelly writes in a witty, yet sensitive fashion. Her characters have real depth to them and I felt I could identify with Evie's dismay when she found that her father had not even mentioned having a lady friend, let alone the fact that he intended to re-marry.
Evie comes over as a warm hearted woman with a very vulnerable core to her personality. She wants everything to be 'just so' and finds it hard to accept change or that other people do not agree with her ways.
That said, I felt the central characters melded together well, the warring sisters, Evie and Cara, were a delight to read about, I think most of us know people who are complete opposites, yet are forced to get on together.
The story line was one that could have easily become dull or even maudlin, yet the author has crafted a remarkably readable and entertaining novel, based on the insecurities felt during the growing up process, that can carry forward into adulthood. The plot follows Evie towards the final outcome, with many twists and turns along the way. A good holiday read!
I would definitely re-read Never Too Late and I recommend it to others who enjoy this genre of novel.
Thank you for reading.
©brittle1906 June 2010
N.B. My reviews may be found on other site under the same user name.