1 March 2010

Book Review: Foursome by Jane Fallon

Rebecca and Daniel are happily married, and love their life together with their two children. They've known their best friends Alex and Isabel since they were at University and they've always done everything as a Foursome, from getting married to babies and even group holidays.

So when Alex leaves Isabel, it shatters their foursome once and for all and Rebecca isn't happy. It's made even more awkward when Alex makes a shocking confession to Rebecca, one of which might change the group dynamics forever. Suddenly, Alex appears with new girlfriend Lorna, who also happens to be Rebecca's enemy at work, and the two instantly clash. Is their foursome destined to be broken forever?

I adored Jane Fallon's debut novel Getting Rid of Matthew, and then went straight to the shops last year when her last book Got You Back was released, and I loved that too. I've been waiting for news of Jane's third book for ages, and so when it finally went up on Amazon I was so excited! I didn't like the first cover that was released so when the finished version seen above was shown to us, I thought it suited the book much better. When the book was delivered to my house a few weeks ago, I eagerly started to read it and devoured it in just a couple of days, it was fabulous!

As usual with Jane's books, it centres around a strong female lead characters whose friends and family feature in the main storyline around them. Our narrator is Rebecca, married to Daniel, and best friend to Alex and Isabel. Rebecca is a character I warmed to immediately, and I loved her narration of the story. We get Rebecca's thoughts on the failure of her friends marriage and the knock-on effect this has on the other characters around her. It's at time an amusing narration, but it also gets the raw emotion, and this I find is where Fallon really does well.

Her previous novels have focussed on the wronged woman, but this book seems to change tact because the wronged woman in this story is actually the one we see least of all. I expected for Isabel to feature heavily in the book but she's in only around 5 or 6 scenes in total, and even then not for very long. Therefore, while I sympathised with her I couldn't necessarily feel much for her character. Fallon instead chooses to focus on Alex and Lorna in the book, and their relationship with Rebecca. This made for an interesting dynamic and shows us how hard it can be bringing a new person into an established friendship group.

As ever, Fallon isn't afraid to tackle some of the more awkward moments in relationships, and this book is no different. The non existent relationship between Rebecca and colleague Lorna is great to read because its so awkward between the pair, and I was cringing at times with the interactions I was reading! I love how Fallon doesn't make Rebecca a weak character, she does stand up for herself and I quickly found Lorna to be a character I disliked immensely, although she made for great reading. I also enjoyed reading Rebecca and Daniel's marriage, it shows a relationship after many years and seemed very realistic.

The book touches on the world of acting because Rebecca works for an acting agency, and I enjoyed these little offshoots in the novel. Ithink it added a new perspective to the story and gives you a little break from the more emotional storylines that feature in the book. Fallon's writing is so easy to read, you can lose yourself in the shortish chapter in the books and find that you've ploughed through a quarter of it before you've realised as its so enjoyable. I really couldn't put it down because I wanted to find out what was going on next!

If you've loved Jane's previous books then you'll love this, but its also a great place to start if you haven't read any of her work before. It is great chick-lit, lots of characters that you can care about, plot twists and turns that keep your interest for the duration of the book and I loved it. Jane's debut novel Getting Rid of Matthew remains my favourite book by Jane, but this one is definitely a close second. Jane's books seem to appeal to a large age generation, and I know I'll be sending my mum this to read next! Very enjoyable, and a great one to pack for your holidays!

Rating: 5/5

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