“ Author: Debby Holt / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 07 January 2008 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Simon & Schuster / Title: The Trouble with Marriage / ISBN 13: 9781416526766 / ISBN 10: 1416526766 „
* Prices may differ from that shown
When I go to the library, I am really bad at looking for new authors, and always seem to go for familiar names. There was nothing that grabbed my attention last week, so I made myself choose someone new.
The Trouble with Marriage takes us into the world of Robin and Tilly. Both are in their thirties with two children. They met whilst at University and have been married ever since. It sounds like the fairytale romance on the first instance, but we all know that no self respecting book would allow it to stay that way.
The book starts us off in the past at university, where we learn that Tilly is a naive first year student, and manages to literally bump into Robin, the third year popular guy at a party. Robin is known for his long term relationship with a girl called Louise, and since their split, known for marking the notches on his bedpost. Tilly ignores all of this and falls desperately at his feet.
Years pass, and Robin and Tilly are settled into married life. Whilst the book jumps from the past to the present at certain points, I found it wasn't too difficult to keep up with.
As Robin's business is struggling, and Tilly only working part time, what will happen when Tilly realises she is pregnant? How did that happen? It wasn't in their plan that's for sure!
At this point in the book, Tilly's life is turned upside down and we really start to get into what the book is all about. We follow Tilly as the main character as she learns to live, cope, juggle, be organised, stay afloat financially and everything else that is thrown at you when life doesn't expect it.
I found Tilly as a character someone you could associate with. How she stayed sane through everything though I'm not sure. I think Debby Holt made her out to be a slight superhero at points in the book. I wouldn't have reacted to half the situations in the same way Tilly did.
There are a lot of characters happening in the book, but you still manage to know who everyone is and what the relationship is. Somehow they all gel together well which is good, and allows me to follow the plot easily.
I did find the plot itself was easy to follow, much the same as many chick lit books I have read lately. You are left hoping for the happy ending, but unsure if it'll happen or not. I didn't think there were too many twists happening, but there was a nice shock to the system that happened right at the end just when I was beginning to wonder how the book would actually end.
Overall I am pleased I chose a new author and will definitely be looking out for more by Debby Holt.
This is the second book which I have read by Debbie Holt and after I was not completely impressed with the first I was expecting more for this book. I have to say I was bitterly disappointed.
The main character is Tilly who is a working mother of two and is happily married to Robin, well that is until her in-laws decided to up sticks and move to the same town as them and thing then start to go wrong for Tilly and her nice quiet life. Tilly always felt that her mother in law thought she was not good enough to marry Robin and she has an obsession with Robin's ex-girlfriend and has her photo in pride of place in her living room. Tilly does not like this and always feels that she is being judged.
Things start to get even worse for Tilly when she starts to feel unwell and soon discovers that she is pregnant. She is not happy with the news as Robin is working all the hours he can to provide for the two children they already have and fells that he was pressured into having those two. When Tilly manages to be brave and tell Robin he does not take it well and accuses Tilly of deliberately getting pregnant. After several rows and uncomfortable nights apart Robin decides it will be best if he moves out.
Will Tilly be able to get her life back on track with Robin or is she destined to be a working single mother of 3?
For some reason from the very start of this book I did not feel I was able to connect fully with the character of Tilly which was a shame as she is the main character. I think if we were told a bit more about her and her history then this may have made it easier. I think she was quite likable and normal with nothing spectacular going on in her life but at times this did make for dull reading.
The storyline was OK but for the first quarter of the book I kept asking myself when something was going to happen to get me involved in the book as it was just telling us about the normal day to day life or Tilly and her family which believe me was not at all interesting and was quite similar to my own, which I certainly do not need to read about! I did however notice a slight improvement for about one chapter when the in laws arrived in the same town as Tilly and Robin but shortly after this we went to back to the day to day trivial things and Tilly moaning about her in laws. I am pleased to say that after some hard and slow chapters the story finally moved up a gear when Robin moved out but do not get over excited as it still did not make for gripping reading.
The story at the beginning of the book did move from the present time to the past when Tilly and Robin first met and we learn how they met and got together, I think this did help slightly with the book as it gave us a little back ground info on the two characters but again even with this it did not improve the story enough for me.
I did find the book was simple to read as there was not much information to be gathered from it and so it did not take up much of my brain power to read but I did find it took me much longer than normal to read and finish the entire thing. I found at times I did not want to pick it us as I knew it would leave me slightly depressed after reading. I hate to say that I do have another book written by Debbie Holt which I will definitely be leaving in my 'to read' pile for some considerable time yet.
The book was indeed written by Debbie Holt and it was published by Pocket Books. The retail price on the back cover of the paperback edition is £6.99 but I did not pay this and got this along with another two title for a few pounds from my sons school.
Over all I am not going to recommend this book unless you are a fan of Debbie Holt as there is nothing amazing to the story, it at times left me feeling depressed and basically bored me.
I'm getting much better lately at trying new authors, I used to stick to only those I knew were great but now I like to try newer authors to make reading a bit more interesting for myself. A few months ago I took a Debby Holt book out of the library and loved it, so when I saw this book in a charity shop for just 50 pence I had to have it. When I found out it was only released this year, I was even happier with my purchase!
Tilly and Robin have been married for years and have 2 beautiful children together, Sam and . But when Robin's ex-girlfriend shows up on the scene much to Robin's mothers delight, Tilly isn't happy at the way Robin is acting towards her. And when Tilly drops a bt of a bombshell onto Robin, will their marriage survive? Can she make Robin fall in love with her again and bring the magic back into their marriage?
The plot doesn't sound like its going to be too happy, and I think that the book's title hints at that as well, but despite this I found the book was a joy to read and I just couldn't put it down. Holt has taken a very normal situation of the magic going out of a marriage after years together and written it into a story in absorbing and pleasant read. Holt's skill for storytelling really comes out throughout the book and it is this which makes for such a good read.
The characters of Tilly and Robin were both great, and you could see the love between the two but equally, you could see how they had ended up in a rut as well, with Tilly working and looking after their children and Robin running his own business. Tilly was incredibly likeable as the lead character, with the book following her through her ups and downs with Robin. I liked that Holt had written her as a strong woman, who was ready to face life on her own if needs be and you couldn't help but like her for that. Robin was a bit wimpy and his indecisiveness drove me mad but he was a good contrast to Tilly's strength, and showed the emotional imbalance of the relationship.
The whole introduction of Robin's ex girlfriend into the story was a clever one, as this had been built up from the start so you already had feelings toward a character who you hadn't actually met yet. This was a very interesting element of the story, and I loved how Holt weaved this story throughout the book and hinted at things which did not come to fruition until a long way into the book. It made me want to keep reading to see how it was all going to pan out, and this is a great thing to do to keep your readers interested!
The book was written in the third person so is a traditional style story rather than being told from a characters point of view. I always find 3rd person books are much easier to read and as mentioned, it just feels like someone is telling me a story much more. The book mainly followed Tilly, but there were references to Robin, his parents and Tilly's friends throughout, although these characters weren't directly in the book unless they had contact with Tilly, which served to keep her as the main character. The story moved at a great pace, starting off when they were teenagers at University and their meeting, through to the present day, with flashbacks occuring throughout the book to keep you updated on what happened in the past between the two, and this made the book a bit interesting and different from the norm!
This was a very enjoyable light-hearted read which I found very easy to pick up in the evenings to relax to. There was nothing overly taxing in the book to make for difficult reading, it was just a fun and pleasant read which made me laugh and cry. Holt weaves a very good realistic story with some lovely characters who could almost be real people, they are that well-written. It's definitely a chick-lit book but I would say Debby Holt is one of the better chick-lit authors out there at the moment, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
ISBN: 978-1416526766. Published in January 2008 by Pocket Books. The paperback contains 352 pages and is available on Amazon for £5.49 or the Amazon Marketplace for 1 penny (plus postage). For more information on the author, visit her website at www.debbyholt.co.uk.
Thank you for reading!