Sunday, 9 March 2008

Lessons in Heartbreak by Cathy Kelly


IZZIE is a fine big sonsy girl, the sort any farmer would immediately choose for a wife. Look at those childbearing hips!

She's a New York models' agent, though, where the demand is more for the lurcher look.

Her dream is to start an agency for normal-sized models. But she's fallen for that eternal trap: the married man who lies about his real state in life.

In Cathy Kelly's bestseller, Izzy's is one of three stories. They revolve on the tale of Izzy's grandmother Lily, a nurse in wartime London.

All three women - Lily, Izzy and Izzy's aunt Anneliese - are the victims of lying hounds of married men. In Anneliese's case, the lying hound is her husband; for the other two, the husbands are other people's.

Waterford lady's maid Lily goes to London during the war to learn to be a nurse, and pals up with an aristocratic girl who introduces her to tall, tanned Jamie, a submariner. (Weren't wartime submariners small and pale? But no matter.)

Jamie tells her the old story, and soon they're all torrid.

Meanwhile in the present day, Izzy is guilted when she returns home to her dying grandmother (Lily again) and meets the devastated Anneliese, whose husband has run off with her best friend.

The three stories come at infidelity from different angles, but the same moral standpoint. As Izzy tells her own hound: "It's not special any more. If it's that special, why do I feel so sad?"

A great read for the airport and the beach.

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