4 November 2009

Book Review: All I Want Is You by Martina Reilly

All I Want Is You tells us the story of Poppy Furlong. Poppy has grown up in a wealthy family, always having the best of whatever she wanted and never having to work for it either. But Poppy gets a shock when her husband Pete comes home one day with a shocking revelation about his successful Architects business. Poppy's life is thrown into disarray as she has to give up her beautiful house, settle in to a more surburban area than she is used to, as well as coping with her wild and difficult 6 year old. Poppy isn't used to being challenged, but she's about to face some pretty big ones...

Martina Reilly is actually the same person as writer "Tina Reilly", she has just changed her first name to apparently appear more grown-up, and has changed the cover style of her books from loud and garish, to more mature and chic. I wasn't too annoyed at picking this up thinking it was a new author to discovering it was someone I'd read much before as I did enjoy her books but I was unsure whether she would have changed her writing style as well as her name....

After reading a couple of chapters of the book, I was a bit unsure about how the book was going to pan out. The storyline seemed a bit depressing, and the lead character Poppy seemed very unlikeable. She had lots of luxuries and loved them very much, but when they were about to be compromised, all she did was whinge and whine about them. She didn't seem to appreciate much, her husband, her house, even her child at some points and for that reason, I just didn't warm to her at all. In fact, it wasn't until really near the end of the book that I started to like her and saw past the rich-woman facade that the author had put on her.

Her husband Pete was mentioned throughout the book but didn't feature majorly. It was clear throughout that despite the love the couple had for each other that they didn't get on, and while this must reflect real-life relationships, it didn't make for happy reading, and somewhat subdued even more! However, the storyline around Poppy's son Billy and his diagnosis was very well written and delicately handled by the author. She has clearly researched the subject deeply, and this was reflected in the way she handled the story. She wrote Billy in a way which endeared you to him, yet made you exhausted just reading about him! The way Poppy dealt with it was incredibly realistic, and you almost went on the journey with her, from diagnosis to fighting her husband about their son.

The book is written in the first person which gives you a good insight into Poppy, as obviously we get her take on everything that is happening. This is good at points as she is a good narrator and the author Reilly writes in an easy to read way which gets you thoroughly involved in the novel. However, this did work against her at points because of Poppy as a character and the fact she wasn't always likeable. I did find her irritating and at times put the book down for a while as at points it was hard going.

The story is a very good one - a woman whose life gets turned upside down, but who has to try to get it back on track again. Its something which has been done before of course but is nonetheless a very readable book, worth reading for the superb storyline of Billy and Poppy alone. This was the gem hidden in the book, and certainly deserved more mention on the cover as it was written so very well. An enjoyable book, and much more serious than Reilly's other works. I do prefer her earlier works but this is still a good read. To be honest, I'd prefer to give this 2 and a half stars, but since I can't, I decided to round it up as I don't think its bad enough for 2 stars.

Rating: 3/5

No comments:

Post a Comment