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I found this book very enjoyable due to the book length and also the general context of it meaning you could grasp the full brilliance of the book in its essence. Was a very enjoyable read as it meant that unlike most books you could picture yourself in this particular atmosphere
==Synopsis of the book:==
Jack and Amy have been married for seven years. They have generally been happy, but are they starting now they are in their thirties to drift apart? They have a two year old son Ben. Jacks works at a landscape Gardener while Amy is a full time Housewife and Mother.
Recently they seem to argue more and in some areas they want different things. For example Amy would love to have another Child, while Jack is against it. He sees money being tight and no possibility at present of moving from their two bedroom flat. And while Amy supports Jack in all his work endeavours, she feels with support from him she could consider a return to the work place. As while she enjoys being a Mum she finds it at times unrewarding and her circle of friends she calls "The Vipers" as being very competitive and cold.
==My thoughts on the novel:==
I thought this was an interesting and good piece of romantic fiction. The style I would compare to an author such as Tony Gayle. It was a story that had many enjoyable attributes, at times it was funny, happy, sad and demonstrated how misunderstandings can and do happen between couples. How a gesture can be misunderstood while other nice ones not noticed in a long term relationship.
This book was written by husband and wife team Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees. They are both successful authors in their own right, but have also written together as well before. As in 1998 they wrote the opening novel in this series 'Come Together' about Amy and Jack. Now nine years later they have followed it up with this story. Certainly for me having read and enjoyed this one I wonder how much of their relationship is mirrored in the story.
When I first picked up this book there was nothing in the title or the style it was written in that appealed to me. What did appeal however was in small writing the following line 'At last! The naked truth about what it is like to married'. It appealed possibly because I have never married and it always impresses and amazes me that people can want to be together for life. Not only that but married couples fascinate me how despite being together for sometimes many years they can still have views and opinions that are poles apart on some subjects.
So I flipped the book over and checked out the unusual summary which really sold the book to me. Unlike the usual 3 paragraph summary most novels have this one had a introduction to Jack and his views on fatherhood. Next to it was Amy's introduction and her opinion on motherhood. I really liked the concept this alluded to that we would see these two characters view on a day to day basis on things that happened in their lives.
When I started the story I found it very easy to get into the into. I liked the way we would have for example ten pages on what was happening to Amy and how she felt about it. Then very clearly we would catch up with Jack and his opinion on recent developments. And while I liked this I also found it slightly annoying as he would have a few days of Amy's views and then this would be followed a few days later with Jack's. Some might like this approach but at times I found I wanted to know what the other partner was thinking at the same time not days later. As a result it felt a little disjointed but at the same time it did successfully keep the story moving forward.
That said I did like the way the story developed. It was always well thought out and I liked also the way it did not develop like I expected. For me the subject matter was very realistic and both writers seemed very in touch with what it was like to have been married with a child after several years together. I enjoyed the wit and humour within the story, particularly when it came from the couples two tear old son.
I found the further into the story I went the more involved in it I felt. There was one big concept however that I found unbelievable and rather unlikely that I could not get my head round that slightly spoilt what was a very well thought out and always interesting story. I won't give it away be telling you though. However it did demonstrate different attitudes men and woman have on that subject.
As I say the further into the better it got. And unlike a lot of fictional stories I have read lately the pace and level of excitement really increased as the conclusion was reached. I had no idea what would happen at the end and I was on the edge of my seat hoping that it would all end up happy but no idea if it was possible, given what had happened previously. I for one would like to see what happens next to both Amy and Jack.
In many ways I expected Jack and Amy's views and opinion to be very different demonstrating the differences between the sexes. However they were not as different as I expected. I thought the authors could have exploited more misunderstandings between the two lead characters or indeed their friends. It was from my viewpoint realistic whereas I expected it to be extreme and from this point of view I felt maybe a trick had been missed.
The two lead characters were unsurprisingly Amy and Jack. I thought they were good characters and I enjoyed learning all about them and their views of what was happened around them. I enjoyed it most when they were interacting with each other as this was where the difference between the sexes was most clearly exposed. Out of the two I found Amy's views and opinion more understandable so I tended to prefer it when the focus was on her.
For me the length of the story was just right to tell and absorbing story. This is because the story was full of insight into the characters lives and had a good level of depth within it. For me it was the type of story that was easy to read, while it didn't tax me too much I enjoyed some of the excellent perspectives the authors shared and I think I learnt a little about the woman's view to boot.
On balance I would recommend this as a good piece of romantic fiction. I liked the way the authors tried to share Amy and Jacks viewpoint to changing developments in their relationship. The story also had an exciting conclusion to it which I had not expected. However for me it was far from perfect and I was bothered by one of the unlikely concept the authors introduced which I found hard to swallow.
Year first published: 2007
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS October 2012.
Nothing more to say than, Absolutely superb!
The fab writing couple of Lloyd & Rees are back and have bought Amy and Jack with them. I adore both the main characters and have loved following their lives, separately and together since "Come Together" in 1999. This third instalment takes us seven years on and is told in the signature two-voice style of the authors which makes it incredibly punchy but oh too easy to speed through! It's a raunchy, sexy and hysterically funny read, as well as being quite sobering and very honest.
Whilst Jack questions whether marriage and being a father has stripped him of his "stud" credentials, Amy finds a lack of excitement in the same-old-same-old routine of being a wife and mother. When the feared 7 year itch starts to bother them both, will they scratch? I really couldn't put this down the minute I started, and whilst I may not be a wife or mother I found myself feeling great empathy for Amy as the story unfolds.
That's the secret, I believe, of these two superb authors - you never feel alienated, so even if you haven't personally experienced what they put their characters through, you can totally absorb yourself in the story.
If you still haven't read a Lloyd & Rees title, but love Mike Gayle, Belinda Jones, Jane Green or Jessica Adams, you will love this.
I'm not ashamed to say I loved this. A big fan of Come Together and Come Again, I was unsure what could be gained from revisiting Amy and Jack several years on.
The result is a blueprint for how not to feck up a marriage - do the opposite to what Jack & Amy do, and you should be OK. At times you want to throttle Jack, at times you want to shake Amy, but all the way through you can't help but care about their lives.
Dadness. Women have a sixth sense for it. To them, you're like an old bull in a field at the side of the motorway, harmlessly chewing the cud, watching the world race by, nothing like the wild buffalo stock from which you came. And that's how it should be, of course, after seven years of marriage to the woman you love. But, lately, as I've looked around, all I've seen is temptation. From random women in the pub, to my foxy new boss... they've left me doubting whether I've really been put out to pasture at all...
Motherhood, I've discovered, is the great leveller. I could be a celebrated fashion designer (instead of the finding, cleaning, bum-wiping domestic robot I've become), but having kids automatically makes me the same as all the other mums in the park. And being 'the same' makes me want to do something terribly rash -- like rediscover the impulsive person I used to be. Don't get me wrong, I love Jack and our son, but everyone else seems to be having so much more fun than me--and so much more sex...
Can they resist The Seven Year Itch?
This is the most awaited sequel to 'Come Together' and 'Come Again', a sequel about lovers Amy and Jack. I won't say much in the way to spoil things, but perhaps my feelings on it all.
Jack and Amy after being in love for quite a while are now married and have a son together. We view their marriage in both lights, from the 'feminine' view and the 'masculine' view, as both Amy and Jack have acquired new different problems, whilst gaining new stresses to their everyday lives. Amy now has to worry about being the best wife and mother she can be, whilst Jack worries about more trivial things such as being attractive.
Ok now my thoughts: I won't say this book completely appealed to me. I only read it because I was bored and I was waiting on another order, but it was at best a decent read. It didn't truly show how marriages work, and although some bits were funny, it was a bit boring and lacked a certain quality. All in all, average at best.
This is another brilliant book about Jack and Amy! I loved 'Come Together', and 'Come Again' continued the story well, so I was eager to read this. I wasn't disappointed!
The couple are now married, and have a young son together. While this an take some getting used too, we are eased into the new situation easily, in a very well written introduction.
On the surface, the book is raunchy, sexy and laugh out loud funny, but it has a hidden side too, exploring how each partner views their marriage and how the "Seven year itch" affects them. Jack worries he isn't irresistible to women anymore, with hilarious consequences, and Amy gets stuck in the mundaneness of being a wife and mum.
I loved the way the author made the characters so 3D, and by the end you are laughing at Jack and feeling sorry for Amy, but also really appreciating how marriages work. The book can be a little dull in places, but its really worth sticking with, as it turns into an excellent read!
The Seven Year Itch - Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees
I don't often get chance to read that many books - even chick lit - but a friend of mine gave me this book to read on holiday, when you have time to relax and read something easy and not too serious.
***What's it all about?***
I feel like I have come to the party late with this book, as it seems there are many more books that have been written by this duo (who are partners in life also) about the same characters to boot. So the first thing I will say is that I easily got into this book, without knowing anything about what had happened previously.
Amy and Jack are a couple with a small child, and have slipped onto the domestic merry go round, bogged down by routine and wondering if anything exiting will ever happen to them again. Jack has given up his career as an artist to become a landscape gardener and Amy has took the decision to be a stay at home mum for the time being. Of course, they love each other and their child, but wonder if this is as good as it gets.
The book uses the title 'The Seven Year Itch' and in the introduction ponders as to whether this phenomenon exists and if it does, will Jack and Amy act upon it.
The first thing I liked is that this book is very easy to read and get into. Chapters alternate between Jack telling the story and then Amy continuing from her perspective. I would say that this book would appeal to many women, but in particular there is alot to identify with, when it comes to describing life at home with a small child. There are many anecodotes which perfectly encapsulate the types of feelings that I had at the time.
It is witty and I like the description of The Vipers - that is the group of competitive young mums who on the face of it seem to be Amy's friend, but are really underneath it all, just out to score points and play the game of perfect parent. This I could identify with - perhaps too well...
There is a fair bit of swearing in it - so if this puts you off, then I would suggest that you steer clear. For example one morning, Amy is struggling to put her son in his pushchair and calls him 'A Little f***er', which I though was a bit strong. Some of the description of what it feels like to be a new mun is spot on though. I am not sure if many men will read this book, but it would be interesting to know if this is how men really think too!
One really funny part is when Jack and Amy finally get an evening together and just at a vital part, their son wakes up. Jack implores Amy to "Hold the line", in a Russell Crowe type quote from Gladiator.
For an easy read I can recommend it, the chapters are a nice length and I will probably look up some of the older titles.
It is available from Amazon for £5.49 and has 419 pages. It is published by Random House.
If you have ever been married or had children then there are aspects of this story that you will identify with. I spent a lot of time smiling while reading this book and even giggling the reason yes it was funny, but mainly because I had had that converstaion, made that comment or just thought that thought.
Jack and Amy have been together for seven years and have a two year old son. I feel that the story builds a wonderful picture of the relationship between both parents with their child and how that relationship differs from parent to parent. and Amy feels somewhat isolated after she leaves her job to care for her son Ben. So desperate for company that she clings to a group of women that she trys to live up to and in her eyes falls short.
Jack has been forced to grow up and drop his ambitions to support his wife and family and has managed really well until temptation comes his way. This book is a voyage of self discovery for the two central charecters and they are left with a big decision about their future. I was thoroughly convinced by the writing and felt the characters frustration and confusion. Didn't want to put this one down.
'The Seven Year Itch' is written by the very successful husband and wife writing team of Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees. They first started writing together about seven years ago when they wrote a book called 'Join Together' which was about a couple of characters called Jack and Amy who were just about to get married. I remember really enjoying reading this book especially as I was just about to get married myself and I could see quite a lot of parallels between the story and my own circumstances. I was really pleased when I started to read 'The Seven Year Itch' that Jack and Amy were back again, this time seven years into their marriage, just like me, and once again, as I read it, I found myself identifying with much of what was happening in the characters lives.
As I said, Jack and Amy have been married happily for seven years and now have Ben, their two year old son. As most parents will know, the arrival of a child really does change the dynamics in a marriage and one of the most difficult things is making sure you make time for each other. Jack and Amy have not quite managed to do this, and as a consequence, both are feeling quite dissatisfied about the direction they are going in and also quite anxious about the state of their relationship.
Alternate chapters in the book are written from Jack and Amy's perspectives. They are always written in the first person so the reader is privy to lots of their thoughts and emotions. It's also interesting because at times we get the same incident described from both points of view.
As the book progresses, I couldn't help but feel frustrated and irritated with both Jack and Amy. They were obviously made for each other, but through their breakdown in communication are likely to lose each other - especially when other interested parties come both their ways. As you are reading the book, you are almost holding your breath, hoping that they won't throw it all away, but you are left dangling right to the very end to find out whether they do manage to rebuild their relationship.
It sounds like a serious type of novel but actually it is really very funny as well. Both characters seem to make some wry comments about what is happening in their lives. There is also the addition of some funny characters as well - Amy's battle axe mother for one who particularly has a tempestuous relationship with Jack. Then there are the 'vipers' - Amy's post natal group of friends. These are a set of woman brought together only by the fact that they have had their children at the same time and who are all constantly vying to outdo each other.
I think that when you read this book though it does make you examine your own relationship. I found many parallels, particularly in how the children take over our lives and how I am constantly so tired for much else at all. At times when I was reading the story, it made me go and give my husband a hug - just to show that I do really appreciate him!
I like the way the book is written from the two different characters' viewpoints, and I assume Jack's chapters are written by Emlyn Rees whereas Amy's are written by Josie Lloyd. They obviously collaborate together extremely well to get such an engrossing and coherent storyline. It does have a good pace and also the chapters are broken down into smaller sections which make it more manageable to read.
Overall I feel that this is a brilliant book. I like the mixture of humour with the more serious elements. It's also a highly perceptive book which I'm sure a lot of women will really identify with. It is also a reasonable length at just over 400 pages. So if you are interested it is published by Arrow and can be bought on Amazon for £4.89.
Nope not the film with that famous blonde bird but a book, another one of many that I have read in the last week or so.
It is one of an ever increasing number of books with two credited writers, in this case both Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees have written independantly with some success but to many (or me at least) they are better known for their co-written books which include the first featuring Amy and Jack (Come Together). Written with chapters in each characters voice means that the authors can effectively tell their own story around af ew central events.
By this time the couple have been married for several years (in fact it has been seven of them, hence the title) and are the parents of a two year old boy Ben. Still living in London their flat is small and messy as is the norm for a single income family, but while Jack is out working Amy spends her days with 'The Vipers' a group of other new Mums, Ben and the radio.
Amy finds that she begins to enjoy calling in to a radio talk show, as it gives her the chance to use her brain in discussing the daily topic and leads to a job for Jack's new gardening business. Then she helps her friend H to pick a potential date online, but H stands him up and Amy finds that she can talk to him, but why does she keep going to meet him, surely she cant be feeling anything?
Jack on the other hand is feeling that maybe he is becoming invisble to other women, not that he would want to be noticed you understand, but when it happens he begins to feel that maybe he still has 'It'. But why is his new boss acting as she is, surely she doesnt want more from him than a tidy garden?
Somehow Amy and Jack have grown apart and almost before they realise it they are both embarking on a path to possible infidelity, as observed by Jack, the itch was discovered but would he scratch it?
As a follow up to Come Together, The Seven Year Itch does a pretty decent job, as a stand alone novel I really couldnt recommend it, some of the back story is not explained here at all so having read the first book will help you follow the story better. But then again as long as you arent expecting a deep and meaningful story not having read the first one isnt necessary, reading it as a light summer holiday read its passable, though in general I found it disappointing the plot is too predictable and the peripheral characters pretty typical chick lit stereotypes.
OK so I read this straight after finishing Ultimate Weapon and the contrast between the two is huge but if I'm being honest I would much rather read something like Ultimate Weapon which is basically the masculine version of chick lit than I would this or any other chick lit publication.
So unless you are a fan of the genre then I would say avoid this at all costs. As I am unfamiliar with the standard of the authors independant work I couldnt tell you if it is worth reading this but I would err on the side of caution and say expect to be disappointed by this offering.
I got my copy as part of the Asda 3 for £10 deal ( roughly £3.33) and feel that I completely wasted my money. But for a book 420 pages long it is a reasonable price (as long as you dont take in to account the quality of the writing and story).
From the authors of the bestsellers 'Come Together' and 'Come Again' - the two lovers, Jack and Amy, seven years on. Now married and with a young son, the couple find themselves beginning to wonder whether they are really cut out for this parenthood and monogamy thing, can they resist the seven year itch?