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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Postcards from the Heart by Ella Griffin

Life is looking up for Saffy. She has a great job, a gorgeous flat in the most desirable part of Dublin and - after six years - it looks like her boyfriend, Greg, is going to propose. Greg (just voted the 9th most eligible man in Ireland) is on a high, too - he's about to swap his part as a heart-throb in an Irish soap for a break in Hollywood. His best mate Conor wakes up every morning with Jess, the most beautiful woman on the planet but, even after seven years and two kids, she won't get married. He spends his days teaching teenagers and his nights writing the book he hopes will change everything, including Jess's mind. But their happy endings are playing hard to get. It seems everyone's keeping secrets - one night stands, heartbreak, grief and loss are all in the mix. It's going to take some tough questions and even tougher answers before anyone's being honest - even with themselves. POSTCARDS FROM THE HEART is a book about four friends in their thirties. It's about love, lust, life, death, balloon rides and missing hamsters. But most of all it's about figuring out how to stop saying 'I don't' and how to start saying 'I do'.

This book is a grown up, chick lit read. Based on a group of 30 something friends it is perfect for an easy, in places comical and others frustrating when egos are too big and the characters don't listen to their hearts! A story which draws you in, leaving you caring for the characters, wanting them to open their eyes and get with the real world! There are also times of sadness and regret.
From the moment I started the book, the characters got me hooked straight away. The book is about two couples: Saffy, an advertising executive, and Greg, Ireland's latest heart throb actor, who live together and Saffy would love to get engaged and married; and Connor, a school teacher, and Jess, a freelance journalist, who have young twins. Both relationships go on journeys during this book and each person has their own decisions and choices to make, which could change their lives for ever.
I really enjoyed this book and found Saffy's story to be the most emotional - a girl who wants to marry her boyfriend and have a family, something which she missed out on as her father left her and her mother to return to his own family when she was only 2. The story also explores her relationship with her mother who becomes ill during the book.
Jess's story was also interesting, a mother of twins who does not want to marry her partner, happy instead to live together. They are scraping by, Connor is best friends with Greg and is a school teacher but also an aspiring author. He manages to get an agent interested in his book and works hard to finish his manuscript, ignoring his family and eventually moving out to finish his book.
As i have previously said, I really enjoyed this book and read it in two days, unable to put it down. I would love to see this book made into a film. The story is told at a good speed which continues throughout the book. It is a great debut novel and I am already looking forward to reading Ella's next book. The book reminded me of Marian Keyes earlier work, another irish author I love to read.
Thank you to Gaby at Orion Books for sending me the book to review.

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