21 March 2011

Book Review: That Gallagher Girl by Kate Thompson

Cat Gallagher is about to liven up the town of Lissamore. She's a bit of a free spirit - she doesn't get along with her famous artist father who is rather partial to a lot of drink, and hates her wicked stepmother with a passion. She finds herself homeless and starts squatting in various empty homes. One of those empty homes happens to belong to some dear to Lissamore resident Rio Kinsella's heart - her son Finn's Hollywood heart-throb father Shane. Rio finds herself in a shocking personal situation when a dear friend  becomes ill, and does something born out of a desperation to keep them happy, despite the knock on effect it has on everyone around her, including her son Finn and his new friend Cat Gallagher. Will Rio and Cat be able to sort out of the messes that are their lives, and finally settle down to be happy once and for all?
This book is the third book in Kate Thompson's Lissamore series, following The Kinsella Sisters and The O'Hara Affair and I have read the whole series so far, so I was very much looking forward to reading this. I loved the cover the moment I saw it, it looks very fresh and summery, and certainly suits the book quite well. It is a large paperback style, which isn't my preferred type of book as I find them a bit big for my little hands, but either way I sat down one evening and got ready to give it a read.

The book begins with the character of Cat, someone we haven't really met before in the previous books, aside from very briefly at the end of the previous book The O'Hara Affair but she was only really mentioned in passing so not a character we really knew anything about. Cat is a bit of a traveller, she doesn't settle down well as she doesn't get on with her father, and relies on finding squats to stay in. When she's found in a house in Lissamore by Finn Kinsella, the two quickly strike up a relationship and although this seems like a sudden thing, it works well in the book and it is nice to see more of the character of Finn. I can't put my finger on what it is, but I couldn't warm to Cat at all, I found her quite annoying when I think she was supposed to be quite quirky and sweet, and I found myself finding some of back story a tad dull. I could see why her character would appeal to some people, but I just found her the total opposite of anyone we have read before in the Lissamore series, and I felt she was a little out place for me.

Rio Kinsella is someone we have seen throughout the Lissamore books, and takes front and centre stage in this one too which I was pleased about as I really like Rio. In this book, she finds out that her dear friend Colm is really poorly and not likely to live much longer. She feels sorry for him and decides to take it upon herself to make his last few months on earth happy ones, no matter how it affects everyone else, especially her son Finn and ex Shane who still holds a candle for Rio. It was interesting to read this story though, and I thought Thompson covered Colm's illness very well, and does so with passion and sympathy. Rio is very likeable also, and despite the fact I didn't agree with what she was doing, you can understand why she does it and think she is such a nice person for doing so!

As usual, Thompson writes the town of Lissamore beautifully, perhaps even more so because of the descriptive way in which Cat and her surroundings are described. As I read one, I could imagine everything in my mind about what they were speaking about, and I like that when I am reading. I find Thompson's writing style very easy and enjoyable to read, it always flows very well and ties up nicely too so that we aren't left wondering about any loose endings which is very good. The book is well paced and there is a lot going on, making sure your attention is held the whole time and I was surprised at some of the events that happen, it's nice to read something not entirely predictable the whole time! If you fancy a fun and enjoyable read with a varied cast of characters to keep you entertained, then I would certainly recommend that you pick up a copy of That Gallagher Girl, I loved it and hope that there will be a fourth book in the Lissamore series sometime soon!

Rating: 4/5

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