The Mystery of Mercy Close – Marian Keyes

The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family #5)

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (13 Sep 2012)
  • My Rating – 4 stars – really liked this one
  • Source - Amazon Vine

Firstly I am not Keyesaphile, Marianmaniac or whatever the No 1 fans/experts of Marian Keyes are called these days but I have read and enjoyed a few of her previous novels. Also I have followed Marian’s very candid online thoughts on her crippling depression and I think she has done so much to help destigmatize an illness which, in its many different forms, is extremely debilitating.

I followed a fellow reader’s advice and downloaded Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family to refresh my memory of this madcap bunch and inadvertently irritate the life out of my family by bursting into laughter at unexpected and often inappropriate moments…do not bring your Kindle to mass…it was before things started, in case you’re wondering… Anyway, I felt more confident about Mercy Close now that I remembered who was who and got into the Walsh way…but don’t expect a bundle of laughs from the outset.

Helen Walsh is a complex character (like any female)and whilst she might come out with the odd one-liner and try to put a brave face on things because after all there is no thing such as depression according to the word of Mammy Walsh, she is a cauldron of emotions which threaten to engulf her at any moment. Ireland is in a state of chassis and the Celtic Tiger is more Tabby cat-like these days. Helen is feeling the effects of the recession and has to reluctantly return to the bosom of her family when she loses her flat, her livelihood and her self-esteem is at an all time low. You probably won’t like her very much but then chronic depression doesn’t exactly endear others to you!

I really enjoyed this manic tale, filled with equal amounts of joy and sadness just like “normal” life with its ups and downs. Yes, the “mystery” is quite simplistic but scratch beneath the surface and there are complex emotions at play. Marian Keyes is a very talented and insightful author who confidently treads that fine line between comedy and tragedy. Bravo!

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