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Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming Your Difficult FamilyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRelax, It's Just SexRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Philosophical ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe State of AffairsThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUntrue Up in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!
Marian Keyes has cornered a niche
market of psychologically insightful comic novels featuring Irish women. Indeed, three of them, Watermelon, Rachels
Holiday, and this latest, Angels, has main characters from the
same family. Maggie has been married to
Garv for nine years, but the book starts out with her leaving him and their
home in Dublin to visit her old friend Emily in Los Angeles. She needs to get away because she is sure
her marriage is over, because she discovered that Garv has been having an
The story proceeds with her discovering the bizarre
world of Hollywood. Emily is a
scriptwriter and she is desperately trying to get people interested in her
work. As we meet Emilys friends and
business acquaintances, we learn with her about the baffling lengths people
will go to make themselves more beautiful (did you know it is possible to get
ones butthole bleached?). Finding
herself in this new world, Maggie tries to experiment with new relationships,
without much success. As the story
unfolds, we start to learn more about Maggies life and her relationship with
Garv. We find that they once had a
great relationship, but when she has two miscarriages, their relationship became
far less happy because they were not able to talk about their feelings with
each other or their families. Then we
learn about a relationship from Maggies teenage years that still casts a
shadow over her life, and it is clear that she has some unresolved issues.
Keyes keeps the tone light, balancing the
investigation of the causes of Maggies current problems with plenty of
humor. The culmination of the story
occurs when Maggies family suddenly decides to also come to Los Angeles for a
holiday, and bring all their comically dysfunctional habits with them.
Angels is a quick read, and is just as
appealing as her earlier novels.
Indeed, it is less formulaic than Lucy Sullivan
Is Getting Married, even though the ending is still somewhat
predictable. Keyes ability to insert
psychological perspectives into her novels makes her unusual, especially among
British and Irish authors, and the international success of her work suggests
that this is a winning approach.
© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is
Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor
of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues
in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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