25 July 2009

Book Review: The Supper Club by Sophie King

thesupperclubsophiekingThe Supper Club tells the story of a group of people coming together once a month supper parties together, with secret, lies and relationships being revealed amongst them. The instigator of the party is widow Lucy, who with her children Sam, Jon and Kate is trying to rebuild her life with new boyfriend Mike who her children don't like. Lucy's sister Jenny also joins in, but she's a single Corporate Events organiser who doesn't like to muck around.

The others include Chrissie and Martin, who are starting to venture out after the birth of their son George; Antony and new girlfriend Patsy, and his wife Maggie makes an appearance too. Things happen at the dinner parties none of them expect, but its life in between the dinners that manages to change everything for the individuals of the group.

Sophie King definitely likes to write books which contain a lot of characters, and usually I don't like this type of scenario. I prefer a book with just 1 or 2 main characters so I can really concentrate on the unfolding story. However, King writes in such a way that it is easy to follow each of them with relative ease, and become intrigued with the lives of each of them. To be honest, I don't know how she writes such a long book and keeps all of the characters in check, appearing regualrly in the book and interweaves all of the storylines together with ease. A very talented lady methinks! At nearly 500 pages, this is a lot longer than your average chick-lit book, but it needs to be this long to be a satisfactory read with a good enough ending that doesn't feel rushed at all.

As with all of King's previous books, I found myself getting into the story very quickly and loving it immediately. The book begins by introducing us to our 'leading lady' Lucy and I really liked her straight away. Although we're told she is a widow, its not until almost the end we find out what happened to her husband. This was intriguing and all the way through I looked forward to finding out the truth. Lucy's life is well written and I really enjoyed following her story most of all. I did think at times she was a bit weak with her boyfriend but King tries to defend her actions as the book progresses. When I first met another character called Patsy, I hated her and thought King was clever for making me hate a character so quickly. However, she turns this around for Patsy through the book and as her past is revealed, I found myself sympathising for her and liking her which was a good turn of hand by the author!

As you progress through the book, its plain to see that this author completely loses herself in the world of her characters when she is writing because of the brilliant and detailed narrative that she uses throughout. The book changes focus of narration in terms of characters every chapter, and perhaps even twice in a chapter if something big is happening. Despite the regular change, it's still very easy to follow, and I didn't find it a problem to get into the new bit of story at all so for that I do commend Sophie King. The book is told in the third person, which avoids confusing change in voice and this definitely was the way to go with a book that contains so many characters. Family life is the main theme of the book, as with all King's previous works, therefore pretty much anyone will be able to identify with the book and its characters lives and troubles which I think just broadens the appeal of the book.

You can probably tell that I definitely recommend this book because its just an absorbing and brilliant read! The lovely purple cover peering through a window invites you in to the world of the characters, and Sophie King's writing flows so well that you are quickly drawn in the world and lives of the characters inside the pages. Despite many stories being told, it is a fascinating book and I loved how all the many threads eventually started to come together towards the end to tie everything up nicely for the reader. Yes, this is definitely a chick-lit book but the upper end of the market I would say. If you enjoy the genre, please give this book and indeed the author a go, you'll be glad you did!

Rating: 5/5

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