10 March 2010
Book Review: How To Be Married by Polly Williams
That is until Tom gets a promotion at works and starts to change towards Sadie. Suddenly, he's not happy with the Sadie of old and wants his wife to change so she mixes in better with the other high-flying wives and makes him look good. Sadie's devastated, and desperately wants to make Tom fall in love with her all over again. A chance meeting with Enid at the park might just be the answer to all of Sadie's problems...
I've been a fan of Polly Williams' books since I read and loved her debut novel The Rise and Fall of A Yummy Mummy good few years ago now, and since then I've made sure to read every book she has written. Her last novel, A Good Girl Comes Undone was fab but it was a few years ago, so I've been waiting a while for this one. It was scheduled for release a long while ago, but Polly changed publishers to Headline, and finally How To Be Married has hit the shelves. The gorgeous turquoise blue cover is a new look for Polly's books, and I hope it wins her a new set of readers too.
I actually started the book as soon as I received it a couple of months ago because I was so eager to read it, and I wasn't left disappointed. The book is written in the first person so we are in the head of lovely Sadie throughout the book, and see everything through her eyes. This works so well because we have to have sympathy for Sadie to make the book work, and through the writing style of Williams, we certainly get that. I loved Sadie straight away, she was a character that I could relate to and for once it was nice to see a housewife character who didn't always keep a tidy home and wasn't that bothered by the fact! Williams' always writes realistic female characters, and Sadie is one of her best yet.
The various relationships that Sadie has throughout the book kept me hooked, and I loved how different they all were. I thnk a lot of women will be able to relate to the relationship of Sadie and her mother-in-law, and I loved how cringingly awkward it was written between the pair. Why can mothers-in-law never see their sons are ever wrong?! Sadie's hubby Tom was quite unlikeable for the most part of the book, yet you can sort of understand where he's coming from in a way. I liked the balance of this particular storyline, and I feel Williams' captured the essence of their marriage perfectly.
My favourite part of the book was the scenes with Sadie and Enid at her lovely house where Sadie does her flowers (she's a florist). In these scenes, I felt the character of Sadie came to life, and I loved the wisdom that this elderly character imparted on Sadie, whether she wanted it or not! There was a bit of a puzzle about her throughout the book and I couldn't quite work it out, but it was nicely wrapped up in the end, and it was pretty emotional as well I have to say. The tenderness between the two strangers was incredibly touching, and I felt that Williams totally did this relationship the justice it deserved.
Relationships are probably the most written about thing in chick lit, but this book is fresh and totally had me absorbed right from the beginning. I loved the setting, I loved the characters but I also really enjoyed learning about floristry and flowers along the way too. Williams has clearly done her research into this profession because she writes about it with ease, and even someone who knows nothing about gardening and flowers (like me!) can enjoy it and imagine what is being written. It's always fun to read about something realistic in a fiction book, and I always appreciate the effort these authors go to to make the reading experience believable and full of facts for us.
This book was definitely worth the wait and I loved every page of it. I think it's definitely Polly's best book to date and judging by how I have loved her previous book, it's no mean feat! Yes, it is every so slightly predictable but I was enjoying the read so much I simply didn't care that I could guess how it was all going to end. The relationships were so excellent to read, and the twists and turns along the way kept me hooked. It's very well written, it has characters you can warm to and believe in, and most importantly, it's just a fantastic read. I highly recommend it, it's brilliant!