Sunday Afternoon Reads - "Sushi for Beginners"

Just thought I'd start out with something light and fluffy, possums! The novel "Sushi for Beginners" by Marian Keyes is an ideal read for a weekend after a hectic week... it's not too complex and doesn't require your full and absolute attention to read.
Set in Dublin, the novel follows a fairly standard Keyes formula, following three heroines as they struggle through life and love, triumphing against their personal adversities. In true chick lit fashion, it shows the ugly side of the beautiful people and the inner beauty of those that tend to be passed over. Lisa is displaced, having moved from the buzzing metropolis of London to a start-up fashion magazine, with the added stress of an impending divorce. Ashling struggles with the aftermath of a childhood of a mentally ill mother and the woe of a very mundane life. Clodagh is gorgeous and appears to have the perfect life but she isn't satisfied...
A lot of the action in this novel is fairly predictable, especially in the first half of the novel. Keyes redeems herself in later scenes when the resolution to the twist is not entirely what you are expecting. She has a habit of leading you down the wrong path before quickly killing off that particular arc of the plot - this can lead to quite a jarring reading experience but adds some excitement to a plot that would be otherwise average. We know that those who deserve a happily-ever-after will receive it.
One thing Ms. Keyes excels at in this novel is fleshing out her secondary characters so that they become characters that we can know and love. We see the flashing debonaire smile of Jack Divine; we smirk at Trix, the punk rock receptionist that smells of fish (thanks to her "fish-mongrel" boyfriend); our heartstrings are pulled by Boo, the homeless intellectual that Ashling takes under her wing.
It may sound harsh, but the best way to describe my experience of this book was that it was "perfectly adequate". I wanted something light to break up the heavy reading of university texts and this fit the bill. It's not the most complex novel I'd ever read, but you wouldn't expect it to be. In saying that, I felt that "Sushi for Beginners" is in the shadow of some of Keyes' more emotive works - "Anybody out there?" in particular. A pick-up-from-the-library read as opposed to a must purchase.

2.5 stars out of a possible 5.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I do think we sometimes need those lighter books to break it up a little and refresh our minds. :D