A new Marian Keyes novel is quite a big deal and The Break is no exception. Longtime fans of previous novels will absolutely devour this- it’s a classic Keyes novel, with all the mad relatives, crossed wires and emotional rollercoasters we’ve come to expect.
Amy’s husband Hugh drops a bombshell- he needs a six-month break from their marriage as he gallivants around South East Asia (and, perhaps, other women) as he ‘finds himself’. Sound familiar? It’s that song by The Beautiful South! Of course, he’s a bit put out by Amy’s reaction, but hey- he has to sort his head out, yeah?
Over the next few months, Amy has to deal with the fall-out: stroppy teenage daughters, a dad with dementia and a very successful PR business. She’s a sympathetic character who most will recognise- the 40-something woman who was promised it all and ended up juggling kids and ageing parents, knackered in the process. So is it any wonder that her head is turned by someone else whilst her husband sleeps his way round the world?
The novel never shies away from exploring difficult topics, either: the Irish abortion issue is presented with sensitivity and Amy’s emotional conflict around the idea of infidelity is well-handled.
It’s a funny, sensitive book that will make you think about things and ask questions (I also kept checking that Benn didn’t fancy going globetrotting on a whim. Thankfully- and unsurprisingly- he doesn’t.)