Grown Ups: the familiar magic of Marian Keyes

Book review: Deep understanding of human frailty infuses smart, effortless read

Marian Keyes: ‘A happy ending is another clause in the imaginary contract between Keyes and reader’

Marian Keyes: ‘A happy ending is another clause in the imaginary contract between Keyes and reader’

Some time ago I went through a spell where I could only read books by Marian Keyes. I was exhausted by literature – exasperated with its coolness and impenetrability – and my tattered paperback of The Mystery of Mercy Close (found left behind in a holiday home), my earmarked copy of Angels, and my never-returned library copy of Rachel’s Holiday felt like literature’s last remaining bastions; proof that words could still hold me and lift my spirits.

I’m sure there are many readers like me, who turn to Keyes when no one else will do. In fact, there must be a great many, since she’s Ireland’s bestselling living author. We reach for them, like a spouse’s hand, from sun loungers and hospital beds. We tuck them into our schoolbags when we should be studying loftier things. On a dull winter night or in the depths of a hangover, there’s no better cure than a Keyes.

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