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The Seven Year Itch - Emlyn Rees
Member Name: kingfisher111
The Seven Year Itch - Emlyn Rees
Date: 13/10/07, updated on 29/08/11 (362 review reads)
Advantages: great read
'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.
Summary: An absorbing and enjoyable story