#SheReviews – “Other Women” by Cathy Kelly

June 14, 2021


Women in the Western World today frequently live complicated lives, and all is often not as it seems. These truths are vividly illustrated in Irish author Cathy Kelly’s latest book, “Other Women”.

Set in contemporary Ireland, our three female protagonists – Sid, Marin and Bea – seem to be leading markedly disparate lives, but are they strikingly similar underneath?

Sid has been hiding away from the world for the past 15 years. Devoted to and good at her office job, she is quite content to live in her own self-contained existence. When she meets the enigmatic Finn on a night out at a pub with her younger sister Vilma, she makes it clear to him at the outset that she wants only friendship from him. Why is Sid so afraid to get close to Finn, and what dark secret is she hiding?

Marin seems to have it all; a fantastic job in real estate, a beautiful house, a handsome husband (Nate), and two well behaved children, Rachel and Joey. So why does she does she endlessly compare herself to other women? And, why does she compulsively shop for designer clothes, and  put up with a husband who insists on her throwing lavish dinner parties while he does nothing but open the wine?

Then there is tragic, forlorn Bea, whose husband Jean-Luc died in a car accident 10 years ago. Bea is now a single mother to her young son, Luke.

Luke is her everything, and she hasn’t wanted to complicate her life since Jean-Luc’s death by getting involved with another man.

As Sid, Marin and Bea’s lives become increasingly intertwined, cataclysmic changes occur in their orbits, and not always for the better.

I feverishly devoured this book by Cathy Kelly. It’s easy to see why she has sold millions of copies of her books worldwide. The themes she examines of identity, love and loss are universal, and thus this book should be relatable to everyone, no matter their life circumstances.

I highly recommend “Other Women”. It is a highly thoughtful, insightful, poignant and realistic portrayal of lives lived desperately, but also full of the belief that things will always get better.

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