Generally, I'm a big fan of Sheila O'Flanagan's (with the exception of a few that didn't really grab me). This falls into the former category and is thoroughly recommended by me.
Romy is an archaeologist who has been living in Australia with her best friend, Keith, who is also an archaeologist. When her mother (who is referred to by Romy mostly as Veronica, rather than Mum or mother) needs to go into hospital back in Ireland, Romy reluctantly agrees to return home to help her convalesce. Romy's family life has been fraught with tension for many years and she is not looking forward to returning. An accidental kiss with Keith at the airport doesn't help Romy's state of mind. Are her fears about going back to Ireland and reuniting with her family founded?
The characterisation by Sheila O'Flanagan is excellent throughout the book.
Romy is the main character and she is a likeable character who I felt a good deal of sympathy for. Her half-brother Darragh is not the nicest of characters and it is clear from quite early on that he intends to manipulate Romy as he sees fit for the family business. Along with his trophy wife, Giselle, he is is scheming and unlikeable.
Her half-sister Catherine is a high-flying businesswoman living in America with her husband. She is a much more vulnerable character than Darragh and Romy and her life is not all that it seems.
Veronica - the reason for Romy's return - is a glamorous woman who has more affinity with her groomed daughter-in-law Giselle than her actual daughter Romy. Veronica and Romy clash frequently.
Mixed in with this is Romy's friendship with Keith. With so much distance between them, she worries that their accidental airport kiss will cloud their friendship. Keith isn't a main character and only really features at the beginning and end of the book so it's quite difficult to get a good gauge of his character.
It is written in the third person and the narrative shifts between Romy, Veronica, Darragh, Giselle and Catherine to tell things from their point of view.
The characterisation is very good, as is typical of Sheila O'Flanagan's books in general. I was rooting for Romy and Catherine but was rather indifferent to the other characters for much of the book. I wouldn't call this a chick lit book as such as it isn't written in the overly chatty style that seems to characterise chick lit in general and does delve into slightly deeper issues than most chick lit with the narration of Catherine's situation. All in all, it's a book that kept me hooked to the end, even if the ending was quite unsatisfactory for me as I wanted that aspect to be explored in a bit more depth as it felt a bit rushed and glossed over. That's a fairly minor criticism though, and not one that affects my star rating or overall enjoyment.
I have just finished reading the latest offering from popular irish novelist Sheila O'flanagan.
This was not the first time that i had read one of her books and i have read practically all of her previous ones.
Someone special is essentially about an irish family, most of her books centre round the family and the different dynamics in them.
The main characters in this book are Romy the youngest child of 3 whose father was her mothers second husband and now divorced, her older sister and older brother both of whom were from her mother first marriage which ended when her husband died.
Romy is an archeoligist living in austraila when she gets a call from her brother to say she needs to come home and look after their mother following an operation, as her brother is married with children and her sister is married and a high flyer in new york, romy is seen as the obvious choice.
Romy however has done all she can to stay well away from her family and all the memories and unhappy feelings that brings, but romy knows that she must go back and thats just the start.
There is also the special man that she has to leave behind.
This is another great easy reading book from the irish author shelia o'flanagan.
She has written lots of other books and and short stories and was once the first female chief dealer in Ireland.