From the book:
Claire Webster has exactly the life she planned, complete with gorgeous husband James, cosy London flat, and a great job. But just hours after the birth of their first child, the bubble bursts when James abandons her for an older woman.
With a baby she doesn’t know what to call, a wardrobe two dress sizes too small, and her self esteem at an all time low, Claire decides there is only one place she can run to, and that’s back home to Dublin.
Thankfully her family are still themselves: her father bewildered, her sisters dippy as ever, and her mother still completely incapable of cooking anything edible. Sheltered by the love of her rather quirky, but protective family Claire realises that despite her grief, ‘Life, against its better judgement, goes on’. So she lets it. And gradually she begins to get better.
So when James eventually comes scuttling back he’s in for a shock. Is there room in her life for him now? And, if she is honest, how much does she still want that ‘perfect’ life back in London?
My two cents worth:
This book has been on my shelf for more than a year now. Wanting a light read for the long weekend, I decided Watermelon would be the best option. I read the first Marian Keyes’s book ‘The Other Side of the Story’ a couple of years ago. Although I can’t remember the actual story line, I remembered that I found it funny and entertaining. I was hoping for the same outcome for Watermelon.
Unfortunately, Watermelon did not provide the same effect as the first book I read. Because James left Claire at the start of the book, the first few chapters outlined Claire’s depressive/crazy state so it wasn’t that fun to read even though it was written with humour.
Some of the character development took too long. I think there was a total of three pages or so on what Claire’s mum thought about the kids stealing alcohol from her personal collection and sort of listed out the variety of posible locations where the booze could be hidden. Big YAWN there.
Somewhere around chapter eight, I remember thinking to myself that if this book doesn’t pick up soon, I’ll probably look for my own hidden stash of booze. Thank God Adam was introduced during this chapter so at least there was some romance to keep me interested. After that the story kick started and it got a bit more interesting. The best part of the book for me was when Claire stormed down to London and dumped James. That part had a liberating, ‘Girl Power!’ type effect. (I'm all for Girl Power, although I'd like to state that I'm not the biggest Spice Girls fan)
Overall it was a light read but not as funny as I hoped it would be. Apparently, Watermelon was Keyes’s first novel, maybe that’s why it didn’t come across as great as her later works.