15 July 2009

Book Review: The Trouble with Marriage by Debby Holt

The Trouble with Marriage by Debby HoltTilly 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.

Rating: 4/5

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