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LAST CHANCE SALOON

Marian Keyes (born 10 September 1963) is an Irish Book Awards-winner
Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women´s literature. She has sold over more 22 million copies worldwide and been
translated into 32 languages. She became known worldwide for their bestsellers,
Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married andThis Charming Man,
whichis considered one of the first authors to have the subject Chick Lit in their
books.

We can say she introduces a subcategory of the romance novel genre :Chick Lit.Chick lit is genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood,
often humorously and lightheartedly. The genre sells well, with chick lit titles
topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely tochick lit.
Although it sometimes includes romantic elements, chick lit is generally not
considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because the heroine's
relationship with her family or friends is often just as important as her romantic
relationships.

Three friends from a small Irish town have lived in London for the past 12
years. Katherine leads a quiet, orderlyexistence as an accountant for an advertising
agency. She’s happy on her own, believing that romantic relationships only lead to
pain. Tara shares a flat with her boyfriend, Thomas, and works as a computer
analyst. Thomas is an opinionated cheapskate who constantly badgers Tara about
her weight, but hey, it’s better than being single and she really does love him (she
just doesn’t like himvery much). Of the three, Fintan is the happiest, with a
fashion design career and a caring partner.
While Tara rationalizes her unsatisfying relationship with Thomas, and
Katherine uses her best Ice Queen attack to fend off the attention of a perfectly
nice co-worker, Fintan is suddenly faced with a life-threatening situation. Now
Tara and Katherine have to take a hard look at theircomfortable but ultimately
unfulfilling lives. Do they have the courage to make changes and take risks?

Unlike Keyes’ previous novels, Last Chance Saloon is written in third-person
narrative, allowing the author frequent point of view changes and highlighting the
contrast between Tara and Katherine. Tara is so insecure that she is willing to stay
with a man who lavishes far more affection onhis odious cat than he does on her.
She constantly makes excuses for his tactlessness, stinginess and cruelty. To cover
up her growing anxieties, she compulsively eats and shops. Her passivity is
annoying, but it’s hard to dislike her because she’s such a good friend to Fintan
and Katherine.

I really enjoyed getting to know Katherine. Unlike many ditzy British
heroines, she is calm,organized and financially solvent. You know there is a good
reason why she comes across as cool and tight-assed (the other face of insecurity),
but you don’t discover its origins until the end of the novel. Still, you can’t help
rooting for her because of the occasional glimpses of humor she displays and her
sincere concern for her friends. And what a luscious man she finally ends up witha
basically decent guy who pursues the object of his affection despite the obstacles
she constantly throws in his path. When Katherine finally lets her hair down,
Keyes captures perfectly that excitement of a great first date and the dreamy stages
of a new romance.
Occasionally Keyes narrates from the point of view of a womanizer named
Lorcan, who has to be one of the slimiest, mostamoral bastards I’ve encountered
in recent memory. Throughout the book, the reader gets a sense of impending
doom that this conscience-challenged “man” will eventually collide with one of
the three main protagonists. When he finally does, it leads to a momentous
climax that is surprisingly dramatic, considering it is just a conversation between
two people.
Other notable secondary...
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