The Break by Marian Keyes

The Break

Publication date 7 September 2017, Michael Joseph

Source: review copy via NetGalley


Amy’s husband Hugh isn’t really leaving her.

At least, that’s what he promises. He is just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. For six-months Hugh will lose himself in south-east Asia, and there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet

It’s been a long time since Amy held a briefcase in one hand and a baby in the other. She never believed she’d have to go it alone again. She just has to hold the family together until Hugh comes back.

But a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman?

Because falling in love is easy. The hard part – the painful, joyous, maddening, beautiful part – is staying in love.

My view:

I think it was a mistake requesting this book from NetGalley! Years ago I read Under the Duvet, which I remember as amusing and entertaining, and I enjoy seeing Marian Keyes when she’s on programmes such as It Takes Two talking about Strictly Come Dancing – she’s very funny. The Break  is not the sort of book I usually read, but I’d thought it would be a change from my usual fiction.

But, I’m sorry to say I didn’t enjoy it. There are many characters, but I didn’t warm to any of them, particularly the main ones, Amy and Hugh. There’s lots of dialogue, which is OK but also lots of description of clothes – too much description of clothes.

It’s written in a chatty, gossipy style that gets very wearing after a while and although it’s easy reading it didn’t grip me and I struggled to finish it. So much so that each time I put it down I didn’t really want to carry on with it. I think my problem with it is that is very slow-paced and I thought it was over-long and drawn out. I did want to know what happened to Amy and Hugh, but it was all too predictable – not my cup of tea!

There are many 5* and 4* ratings on Goodreads, so I expect that if you’re a fan of her books you’ll love it.

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1049 KB
  • Print Length: 570 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718179730
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Sept. 2017)
  • My rating: 2*

3 thoughts on “The Break by Marian Keyes

  1. So sorry to hear you were disappointed in this one, Margaret. Interesting, isn’t it, how we can enjoy one book by a given author, and then be completely disappointed in the next. This particular one doesn’t sound like it’s for me, but your review is, as always, terrific.


  2. I read her recent book of essays which I enjoyed, although a long section about make-up I skipped over as that’s not really my thing. For some reason though the essays didn’t make me want to rush out and read her fiction. I think I thought her style might get wearing in something that wasn’t short essays or stories, like a whole novel, and judging by your reaction I think I was right. I agree though, she is funny on programmes such as It Takes Two.


    1. Now you mention her recent book of essays I remember that Under the Duvet is also a collection of articles she’d written as a journalist. So that explains it – for me her style is better for short stories etc.


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