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The Real Liddy James by Anne-Marie Casey

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Forty-four, fit, and fabulous, Liddy James is one of New York’s top divorce attorneys, a bestselling author, and a mother of two. Armed with a ruthless reputation and a capsule wardrobe, she glides through the courtrooms and salons of the Manhattan elite with ease. What’s her secret? Liddy will tell you: “I don’t do guilt!”

This is the last thing literature professor Peter James wants to hear. Devastated by his divorce from Liddy six years earlier, the two have a tangled history his new partner, Rose, is only just sorting out. But Rose is a patient woman with faith in a well-timed miracle and she’s determined to be sympathetic to Peter’s plight. Together, Liddy, Peter, and Rose have formed a modern family to raise Liddy and Peter’s truculent teen and Liddy’s darling, if fatherless, six-year-old.

But when Rose announces she’s pregnant, Liddy’s nanny takes flight, the bill for a roof repair looms, and a high-profile divorce case becomes too personal, Liddy realizes her days as a guilt-free woman might be over. Following a catastrophic prime-time TV interview, she carts her sons back to Ireland to retrace their family’s history. But marooned in the Celtic countryside things are still far from simple, and Liddy will have to come to terms with much more than a stormy neighbor and an unorthodox wedding if she ever hopes to rediscover the real Liddy James.

Fun, fearless, and full of heart, The Real Liddy James takes a fresh look at the balancing act every family performs. With the deft characterization and sharp wit that made her first novel an international bestseller, Anne-Marie Casey invites us into the ambitions, passions, and misadventures of this extraordinary heroine.

Goodreads Summary

The author's reflective writing style is what made me enjoy this book. I disliked Liddy, Peter, and Rose although Liddy's children were nice enough. Liddy's "I don't do guilt" philosophy didn't really resonate within me. I liked how the adults' relationship dynamic was so intricate. I don't think I could have handled my ex-husband's pregnant girlfriend too easily (disclaimer, I'm not divorced). When the summary says there is a delicate balancing act there really is. I never thought too much into family relationships and dynamics and this book really helped me explore that aspect with this fictional family. 

Roughly two thirds or so into the book, something drastic happens to Liddy and causes her to throw her carefully structured life in the air. Gone is the safe, carefully constructed airs she kept around herself. Her philosophy must be changed. I do wish that the characters had been more sympathetic and easier to like. At times, they downright aggravated me. The "discovery" of herself was interesting because I never imagined people "discovering" themselves in quite that way (though to be fair, I never spent much time thinking about it). Overall, the book was fast-paced and a quick read.

3 Stars

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