Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, By Clare Dowling
Can't Take My Eyes Off You
After a decade living the high life in London, mid-30s couple Clara and Matthew decide to exit the rat race and move back to Ireland. A nicer home, a slower pace of life and Clara’s welcoming family await in the commuter town of Castlemoy, but with a jilted ex lurking in the wings – and in the forest behind their new house – repatriation does not go as planned. If Clare Dowling’s seventh novel has a familiar storyline, it compensates for this with witty one-liners and interesting, authentic characters that provide an insightful and modern take on a range of issues, from obesity to depression to fear of coming out in a close-knit community in small-town Ireland. A former scriptwriter, Dowling has a knack for dialogue, and in Clara she has created a believable and courageous heroine whom many will identify with. The onslaught of quips can at times lessen story credibility, and a newly bought house conveniently takes care of itself, but on the whole Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is Irish commercial fiction at its best.