Book Review: Last Chance Saloon – by Marian Keyes

Last Chance Saloon is one of Keyes’ earlier works. The 4th work of fiction out of her current 12, this story seemed to be tighter. I enjoy Keyes’ writing because there are always so many great characters to get to know and follow around. This book didn’t have as many funny parts as her later works I’ve read, and it started out slow where I was unsure of what the conflict was going to be, but when it came into the picture, I was hooked.

Synopsis:

Best friends since the days when legwarmers were cool, Tara, Katherine, and Fintan have survived small-town ennui, big-city heartbreak, and endless giddy nights out on the town. But now that they’ve graduated to their slightly more serious thirties, only Fintan has what can honestly be called a “love life.” With Tara struggling daily with her eternal diet — and her dreadful, penny-pinching boyfriend — and Katherine keeping her single existence as ordered as her drawer full of matching bra and panty sets, it seems they’ll never locate the exit door out of the “last chance saloon.” But it’s always when you are least ready for change that fate insists on one. And when catastrophe inevitably follows crisis, the lives of three best friends are sure to change in unexpected ways…and not necessarily for the worse.

So the back cover copy on the edition I read wasn’t as informative as this version I got from Marian Keyes’ website. The copy I had must be really old because the purple cover doesn’t seem to be too popular. I will try my best to summarize the plot without giving too much away.

Enter Katherine, an uptight accountant who is more concerned about making herself happy with her clean apartment, nice clothes and undergarments and cool car, than relying on a man to make her happy. Katherine even goes as far as to ward off all men by giving them varying degrees of stony looks.

Tara is the opposite of Katherine, outgoing and uninhibited especially when it comes to food. She lives with her long-term boyfriend Thomas, who doesn’t treat her right and won’t even meet her best friends, Katherine and Fintan.

Fintan, who has been friends with the girls since adolescence, is into fashion with his fancy clothes and likes to go out with the girls to ogle men.  The guy who seems to have the best life balance unlike Katherine and Tara who are both living on two extremes. Then life throws him off balance, everyone is affected.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. I think it might have been a little too front-end heavy, but I like longer reads so it worked out. After the main conflict is introduced, the book is hard to put down. I wanted to read at least the last ten chapters in one sitting, but I had to read it in a few.

Its a great book to make you stop and think about your own life to see if you have it all balanced and/or to be thankful for what you do have.

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About Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel (Mondays), writing and literature (Wednesdays), lifestyle (Fridays) and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.
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