The Break

Okay, so it’s been a while. I won’t excuse myself like Ross Gellar and splutter “we were on a break” but I must admit that my heads been a shed for the past few weeks (okay months) but honestly, I was thinking of you the whole time, and I thought it was high time I pop bye and say hello (manners cost nothing after all).

Now I won’t flim flam you, today’s ‘soup of the day’ so to speak, is Marian Keyes (who I rather biasedly believe is rather fabulous) and her epic book The Break which I’ve just finished.

I’ve read Marian’s ‘work’ (I love that expression!) for years now and honestly, I think The Break may have barged itself to the top spot in my affections (I can picture it now in full skin smacking Lycra get-up making a dramatic WWE style entrance into my bookcase).

How can you trust my judgement I hear you cynically enquire? Well what I lack in official credentials I make up for in oodles of enthusiasm for books and like Thomas Harris’ the Tooth Fairy, I’m an Avid Fan of Ms Keyes. I’d show you the contents of my bookcase but alas I can’t, after the last few crayons that were propping up the shelves finally gave up the ghost, the husband confiscated my babies to the loft (has he no heart?!). I don’t hear the lambs screaming anymore, but I do hear my books, whispering forlornly at their cruel abandon, and mark my words, in this life or the next, we will have our vengeance!

Apologies for the sudden dip into bloodthirsty rage, but it’s been two years now since I had a ‘proper’ bookcase and I feel bereft without one and I know if it doesn’t happen soon, I will begin to plot my spouse’s ruinous downfall. Don’t worry, it won’t end with my mugshot on Crimestoppers (is that even still airing?) I don’t plan on anything fatal – so far, the worst I’ve don’t is attack him in the shower with a frozen turkey and a rolled-up Heat magazine – but this kind of woeful oversight to fulfil my fundamental reading needs cannot go unpunished.

Now, let’s get back to The Break. It has all her usual trademarks; depth, compassion, dripping with wit, but what really resonates with me is the melancholy undertone, a knowing insightfulness that would often pass by the untrained eye.

I won’t give away any “plot spoilers”, I’d rather you just trust me and read it for yourself, although I will say it contains one of my favourite abbreviations ever: TPB = The Poor Bastard!

I didn’t read it in one go either. Owing to my head going south – which is my preferred descriptive for when my depression flares up making it nigh on impossible to read (howls aghast at the injustice of it all) I had to abandon it The Break a third through which left me feeling typically defeatist and useless because I couldn’t even finish it.

But that was before Mr Grey had run his course and since my own break, the summer holidays have arrived, I’ve spent weeks googling how to get pink kinetic sand out of the carpet and endured the horrors of soft play centres and their scummy overpriced tea!

So, after ridding myself of the worst of the fog in my head, I resumed where I left off, and devoured The Break whenever and wherever I could. Whether it was in my lunchbreak, standing by the oven in the pretext of making tea, in the cardiology unit – it didn’t matter the setting, so long as I could get a bit more of Marian, until finally, last night, the opportune moment arrived. The kids were in bed, the hubby was in a drunken coma after a heavy day session, so I pulled the recliner out, brought my Bacardi to the living room with me and read until my little heart was content and for once, I’d finished what I’d started.

Now I’m riddled with the post-book emptiness, the baby blues of bookworms and my only source of light relief has been re-living the experience for the purposes of this here blog.

What else could I say to persuade you as to the virtues of Ms Keyes, to get you ‘on-side’ as it were? I know….her fringe! We haven’t discussed it and we need to because honestly, it is the most beautiful fringe I have ever seen and personally, I believe it should have its own Twitter account, along with Dr Ranj’s eyebrows. I believe the ‘young persons’ term for it would be that it is ‘fleek’; a term I wrongly assumed applied exclusively to the motor trade industry and instead correlates to an item or subject that is trendy or a person possessing excellent eyebrows. It’s not one of those intimidating poker straight types, more a relaxed cutely ruffled affair in my opinion, it is, for want of better accolade, the ‘Rachel’ of fringes!

And there you have it, I’ve run out of steam, and liquor, and now must face the difficult decision of what to read next, which is always a perplexing task when you’ve had the literary equivalent of an intense holiday romance and are doomed to compared the next couple of books to this unforgettable love rival; we each have our sword to bear.

I shall bid you a farewell for now as me and my The Break tote (I won it in a competition and am rather fond of taking it on little drives or ‘jaunts’ as I have now come to think of them) head out. In my dreams I grasp its limp cotton handle and emotionally stutter the words “let’s not get caught” as we head out into the sunset in my Ford Thunderbird when in reality, I crunch my poor old Citroen hatchback into reverse and head to the local for a cut loaf and a pint of milk.

Until next time….

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