24 February 2011

Book Review: Denial by Coleen Nolan

The ladies of Girl Talk are back, and out for revenge against their former boss James Almond after their unceremonious sacking from their hit day time talk show. Julia is still recuperating from her horrific car crash, and has been shunning the public eye ever since. She's still determined to make James pay for ruining her life, at whatever cost. Karen King is off the bandwagon when it comes to her diet, and has piled on the pounds once more, convincing herself as well that her husband Dave is having an affair behind her back. Faye Cole is coping with life as a single after husband Mike's desertion after her lesbian affair with co-presenter Cheryl. Faye is struggling with the demands of baby Daisy, and is turning to something else to get her through the day. Will the 5 women, all out for revenge, make James pay for ruining their careers in one fell swoop? Or is he the one who will get the ultimate revenge?

Denial is the follow up to Coleen Nolan's fabulous debut novel Envy, which both Leah and I loved last year. I was surprised to be honest that she chose to bring back the characters, as often a sequel can disappoint if it isn't done properly but I am really pleased to say that bringing back the Girl Talk characters was absolutely the right move by Nolan, and made for a great reading experience! You can read this as a stand alone novel if you want to, as things are explained well enough for you to get the gist of Envy's storyline but it of course works better if you have read the previous novel.

The book begins with what is happening to the ladies after the scandalous ending of the last book, and everything certainly isn't rosy for them after their careers at Girl Talk have ended. Each of them has their own grudge to bear, be it against one of their former colleagues or their former boss James, but they have no idea how to go about getting revenge for it. They all want a career back again, especially Julia and Lesley but know they probably won't be able to work as a team again, especially if James get back at the helm of the television channel once more. It's an exciting ride to see just what 5 women scorned are going to do next, and it certainly is a fantastic ride!

Again, Nolan has brought alive these 5 women characters, who I am convinced must all be loosely based on some her colleagues at Loose Women, simply because they are so well written, and you can't help but get engrossed with their story as you read. At first, I did find it a little difficult to keep up with some of the other characters that come into the book, but once I got into my stride, I found it easy to keep up and the constant switching was not a problem at all. In fact, it keeps the momentum of the book going really well, and I didn't want to put it down for fear of missing yet another revelation! The writing style is very easy to read, with the third person past narrative working well for the multiple characters. Nolan switches back and forth between them with ease, and

There are some really shocking events within this book, 1 of which was an absolute shock and I could not believe what I was reading! Nolan has really chosen to shock her readers with the turns she takes this book on, and breaks away from the mould of usual chick-lit with the direction this goes in. I absolutely loved that she did this, it was such a bolt out of the blue that was completely unexpected, and I read until the end because I was so desperate to find out the consequences of the events that occurred and how it would all end for the women of Girl Talk! I think the ending has been left open enough for Nolan to bring back the 5 women again, yet I do feel it'd be nice to see something new from her, because this could also be a good ending for this set of characters.

Everything about this book is brilliant, and despite the fact I don't really like Nolan on the television and tend not to like "celebrity" written books, I have to say Nolan has produced an absolutely fantastic read here, and I can't recommend it highly enough, especially if you were a fan of her first book "Envy". The characters are all fantastic, well written and perfectly fit the story they are surrounded by, the narrative moves at a good pace and keeps the book moving and exciting, and the story is shocking and completely compulsive. It's certainly not what you'd expect from normal chick lit but I love that it broke the mould and did something totally different - you really do have to read it, if only to find out what shocking events take place! Brilliant!

Rating: 5/5

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