The Other Side Of The Story – by Marian Keyes

13 07 2015

My mum leant me this book and said I should read it. Considering she’s the person that first got me into Cecelia Ahern to whom I am now completely addicted, I thought I’d give it a go.

The book is about three women: Gemma, Jojo and Lily. The first half of the book they each get a third of for us to learn about them, their backstory and where this book is heading for them. The three stories are a little linked – without giving too much away, Gemma and Lily used to know each other, Lily and Jojo will get to know each other, and Jojo will get to know Gemma later – but for the first two thirds of the book or so it really is like reading three different stories.

In some ways this was a bit tricky, because you could go a good sixty pages with one character, before moving to another one. Each character has her own history, her own set of colleagues, friends and family, all of which you’re expected to know by name quite quickly, so it’s quite a lot to take in. Once we get through the first major chunk with each girl, the pace picks up a bit, and we switch between the characters a little more often, and towards the end of the book you might only have two pages with one character before flipping to another. This of course is the point where you don’t want to put it down, and cliffhangers are used far more freely than earlier in the book!

Another peculiarity was that Gemma and Lily’s stories are told in the first person, while Jojo’s is in the third person. It was a bit odd the first time I went from Gemma to Jojo, because that change is more noticeable than you’d think!

All characters go through job stuff, relationship stuff and family stuff, so there’s a lot to keep abreast of, but if you can manage that, it was a good read. I think it was worth persevering through the three long introductions to reach the more interweaving stories later. The further on you get into the book, the more the characters get involved in each other’s stories, and get to know each other. I’d say give it a try!

the other side of the story

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