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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Crowded Marriage by Catherine Alliott

Title: A Crowded Marriage
Author: Catherine Alliott
ISBN: 978-1-4022-5319-5
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: May 2011
Format: Trade Paperback
$14.99 US
How I Read It: Trade Paperback ARC from publisher
Rating: 4 Crowns

Imogen Cameron can’t quite figure out how she and her husband, Alex, have plummeted from living in their beloved London townhouse to scraping by in his ex-girlfriend’s guest cottage. But although the scenic pastures might inspire her flagging artistic career, and getting out of the city might do their son good, Imogen wonders if all the country air in the world would calm the crowds that are invading her marriage.

There’s a gaggle of psychotic chickens, an infuriatingly bossy vet, that oh-so-sweet ex-girlfriend-and the feeling that her husband is preoccupied with more than just his job.
(from the back of the arc)

My Thoughts:

Imogen Cameron believes that she has a happy marriage, yet it seems that her husband, Alex, is constantly preoccupied. Then suddenly she finds that they are having a bit of a financial crisis and are forced to move into a country cottage (rent-free) that Alex’s ex is offering them. Now this city chick find herself settling in the country with more than just crazy livestock on her mind and an odd bossy vet to deal with.

I have to say that this book started off a bit slow, yet the writing style held my attention and I found myself wanting to know more about the Cameron’s and the direction their marriage was headed. Several of my questions were answered fairly early on in regards to how they met and the lives they led before their marriage and I believe that Alex’s previous marriage sheds light on his current situation (that‘s all I am going to say on that matter, you‘ll have to read the book to get all the juicy gossip). There was even a warning from Alex’s ex-wife to Imogen in regards to his relationship with Eleanor, the ex-girlfriend who owns the cottage in-which they are now residing.

Throughout the novel red flags are rampant, from Alex’s dismissal to the gallery owner hitting on Imogen to his constant avoidance and several times I found myself wanting to scream “JUST CONFRONT HIM ALREADY” and the way she constantly apologized to Alex for embarrassing him made her seem a bit annoying. I wanted her to stand-up for herself a bit sooner to gain a bit of courage. Although you could see that she was trying to cling to the hope that her marriage was still strong.

Overall, this was a rather enjoyable book, one that had me laughing at times and somber at others. Where most books candy-coat marriages making them seem to be sugar and spice and all that is nice, this book was the opposite-it takes the readers into the heart of a troubled marriage showing what went wrong.

There is something in the book that caught my eye as reader of what was to come.

When Imogen is strolling around Peter Jones she runs into Tilly, Alex’s ex-wife. Tilly discovering that Imogen was married to Alex, tells Imogen “Good luck. You’ll need it.” When asked what she meant by that comment, Tilly replies, “In all my married life, Imogen, only one person made me want to behave life a victim. Only one person made me want to reach for the kohl pencil, outline my eyes in black, raise them theatrically to the camera and whisper, ‘There are three of us in this marriage.’ I think you know who I mean. So good luck. As I say, you’ll need it.” (taken from pages 60-61 of the arc)

Many of know that this part “Only one person made me want to reach for the kohl pencil, outline my eyes in black, raise them theatrically to the camera and whisper, ‘There are three of us in this marriage.’ , is referring to the speech that Princess Diana made when her marriage had ended referring to Camilla being the third person in their marriage. That snippet made me set up and take notice and you could sort of sense what was to come, yet I do have to say that this novel does have a few brilliant twists and turns along the way.

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