About two weeks ago, I was in a mood where all I wanted to read was chick lit.  No Steinbeck or Orwell.  No murder mysteries.  Nothing other than a ball of fluff novel that essentially revolves around the sexist and somewhat demeaning plot line of a woman in search of her ‘dream man’.  Sure, it goes against most things I stand for (the main one being that a woman can actually survive without a love interest), but that’s what I was after.  Plus, I was sick.  And we all know that when we’re sick our brain begins functioning at about 50%, and thus, it was completely justifiable.

The book I ended up going for was Marian Keyes’ Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married.  Not only is Marian Keyes supposedly a renowned ‘chick lit’ writer (if such a thing exists) but it was also essentially a story that involved a woman searching for her dream man.  Nothing about her career, her friendships, her urge to travel.  In short, the mindless fluff I was after.

So no wonder I was underwhelmed.

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married follows the story of Lucy, a mid-twenties girl in London who finds out from a fortune teller that she will be getting married within the next year.  Lucy, who doesn’t even have a boyfriend, thinks that this is preposterous and immediately dismisses the idea.

Yet, then she meets Gus; a man who is cute, funny and a little odd.  Sure, he comes across as an alcoholic, smells like a bin and apparently doesn’t have a job, but he’s still Lucy’s dream man.  And then, there’s the other guys that pop up in Lucy’s life.  There’s the blind date, the cute new guy at work, and perhaps even Daniel, her handsome best man friend that she’s never considered as anything more.

Essentially, this is the bulk of the novel’s plot line, although Keyes does try to lift up a notch on the ‘meaningful’ ladder by adding in Lucy’s alcoholic father into the mix.

In theory, this should have been a fun read, and while on one level it was, for the most part it was just really bad quality.  Not only was the storyline somewhat slow for a chick lit, but much of it seemed unrealistic.  Why does Lucy hang out with people who are so awful to her?  Why does Daniel date her roommate if he’s apparently interested in Lucy?

Then there was the dismissiveness of all other factors of Lucy’s life aside from her search for a man and her family issues.  Sure, it’s fun if that’s the central plot, but it was fairly depressing that Lucy was constantly going on about how much she hated her job, and never actually did any work, yet didn’t do anything to change that.  Or that she was terrified of her roommate, Karen, yet she never stood up to her, or even better, just move out?

But above everything else, I just thought the characters were all quite awful, and not in a comedic way.  Gus (who in my mind looked identical to Bret from Flight of the Concords, don’t ask me why) sounded like a drop-kick from the get-go, and even worse, continually treated Lucy badly.  While she eventually stands up to him, it doesn’t seem like a fantastic message to send to your readers: better to have a terrible man, than no man at all, ladies!

Then there are Lucy’s friends.  All the girls at work don’t seem to particularly like her, some of them sleep with her boyfriends, and the rest are either excessively controlling, stupid or overweight.  And while we’re on that topic, was it really necessary that Keyes describes the size of the character, Merida, every single time she featured in a scene.  Now that’s just nasty, not to mention alienating to a number of potential readers.

Even Lucy, the protagonist that we’re supposed to side with, to commiserate with, is a bit of a pain.  She hates her work, she hates her friends, she’s constantly moaning about her life, but doesn’t make any steps to change it.  She’s awful to her mother and she’s constantly childish and argumentative with Daniel, who somehow puts up with her anyway.

Overall, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married was pretty average.  And not even in a standard ‘chick lit’ average.  I mean, ‘why am I even reading this rubbish?’ average.  I’m not sure if it’s just me that isn’t a fan of Marian Keyes’ writing because she is very successful, or I just managed to pick out the worst of all her novels, but I wouldn’t recommend this novel.

Have you read Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married or anything by Marian Keyes?  Are you a fan of chick lit?  Let me know!

lucy sullivan is getting married by marian keyes

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married – (image taken from http://www.media.tumblr.com)

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