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This is a review of the book 'Summer in the City' by Pauline McLynn, who is also famous for starring as the housekeeper in Father Ted. First of all I struggle to understand why this book is called 'Summer in the City' as it's not particularly about the City or about Summer either!
A bit about the story
We start off with Lucy who seems to be living in her car (a red Micra) whilst holding down a job as a waitress in the local café. She seems intelligent enough and seems to have a big hand in her mum's business, a local art exhibition cum shop. Following the introduction of Lucy we are introduced to a whole confusing host of other characters, and their partners who are sometimes estranged, and include a lady who is made out to be a bit of a hobo and doesn't like Lucy's choice of car camp site.
The link between all the characters is that they all live in the same cul de sac and are in and out of each others' lives. What makes it more confusing is the artist who lets out most of her rooms despite being world famous and clearly not in need of the money from these people.
Can you tell by now I wasn't totally feeling this book?
I would say it was an average read and maybe I wasn't paying enough attention but it just didn't do it for me. I thought Lucy's work relationships were confusing, especially with the flower shop next door and when she does finally track down her husband who has essentially robbed her and run off, the way she approaches him is just strange and you want her to have a big tantrum about it but she doesn't.
Anything nice to say?
Not really. I wouldn't recommend this book to any friends and whilst McLynn's writing style is amusing with the odd bit of swearing thrown in for effect which I felt sometimes seemed out of character for the person in the book but I suppose it provided emphasis where needed. I just wonder if it was necessary.
I think that the photo of the author on the back page is just irritating, McLynn is peering over her classes at the camera and pulling a face. Looks to me like she is cashing in on her Mrs Doyle persona and if her writing is good enough she ought be able to be a writer in her own right.
Having said all that, McLynn has written lots of other books I note whilst looking on Amazon and whilst I wouldn't go out of my way to buy one I will pick them up if I see one to give her a second chance. I've a sneaking feeling there's one lurking at the bottom of my massive 'to read' pile!