Monday, 30 September 2013

Review! The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton by Catherine Alliott

Evie Hamilton has a secret. One she doesn’t even know about. Yet . . . She's blissfully unaware that her charmed and happy life is about to be turned upside down. And it all begins one sunny, Oxford morning when a letter – a ticking time bomb – lands on Evie’s immaculate doormat. Something she never anticipated threatens to sabotage all that she holds dear. It’s time for her to reappraise everything in her carefully arranged universe. Is Evie strong enough to fight for what she loves? What will be left and what will change forever? And can her world really be as fragile as her best china?



Review: This is going to be a review of two parts, because I felt that the book was split into two separate parts. Unfortunately, to me, it felt like the book had been written by two separate writers! The start of this book has the class ditzy chick-lit female. I really warmed to Evie Hamilton initially, she has a gorgeous house, a gorgeous husband and a gorgeous daughter and she knows she had it easy. There are a host of other characters introduced at the start of the novel. Sometimes this is a bit hard to follow, but because this is a fairly long novel, all of the characters have their own story-they are pretty in depth-and so it becomes clear who each of them is and how they fit into Evie's life!

The storyline is pretty clear to begin with too. Evie is happily living the suburban life, getting on with a teenager in the house, visiting her sister in law and her nephews and nieces, but then everything changes. From this point the story becomes about Evie dealing with this new revelation, and I really enjoyed this part too! Whilst this change in storyline was enjoyable in itself, this is the point where I begin to really dislike Evie. She reacts to everything in such extreme ways, running off into the street, drastically changing her life and begging others for help. She also becomes a bit of a bitch, judging people before she has even met them and definitely having a prejudice about northern people, something which I took very personally!

To begin with Evie's funny antics really made me laugh and then the dramatic turn in storyline had me completely hooked, but then the last part of the book really changed. It almost felt like events were happening simply as page fillers, because the author had another few thousand words to write. We kept revisiting things I thought had been covered and resolved and I found myself wondering when the book was going to actually end! The ending itself was pretty good because it tied up everyone's story lines but it was a case of everything being tied up a little to easy in some situations.

Overall I'm glad that I read this book, I wouldn't have stopped listening to it because, as I said it really made me laugh. I liked that fact that it was set in Oxford because I could picture most of the settings the author was describing, and I liked the bookshop that Evie found herself working in at various points throughout the book. I thought the book jumped around a little too much and could have been cut down by 50-100 pages and still been a quality piece of chick-lit. If you are looking for something that is going to take up some of your holiday reading time then you will enjoy this one, but if you are looking for something a little clearer and fast paced then this won't be the book for you.



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