Irish News

Girl who just loves her father

When 26-year-old Lucy Sullivan and her workmates visit a fortune teller she isn't expecting to be told anything of great importance.

But when the unimaginatively named Mrs Nolan reads her tarot cards and tells her she will be married "before the leaves have fallen on the ground again", that is within the next 12 months.

Lucy is taken aback. After all, she thinks, she would be happy just to find a decent boyfriend, never mind a husband. Yet when her colleague comes into money - predicted by the fortune teller - everyone in Lucy's office is convinced she should start shopping for the white lace dress. Lucy sensibly points out that received a cheque for 7 can hardly be classed as a windfall. But her disillusionment doesn't last long when she meets Gus, falls head over heels in love and begins to think that maybe wedding bells are going to chime after all.

Then again, everyone knows that the path of true love never runs smooth. Although it is soon apparent that Lucy is the product of a dysfunctional family and prone to bouts of depression it is to the credit of Marian Keyes that her imagination never allows the characters to slide into the well-worn pit of gloom and despair.

Lucy will never find the man of her dreams until she stops seeing her alcoholic father as some kind of angelic creature who epitomises the perfect man and starts appreciating her much misunderstood mother. Just how Lucy goes about this, with the help of her crazy flatmates and work-shy colleagues, is told with style and panache.

With brilliant characterisations and sparkling, witty dialogue, Marian Keyes has created an upbeat, wonderfully observed slice of what it is like to live in London, work in a dead end job and hope each Friday night that Me Right will come along. At the top of the best-seller list for the past six weeks, with 45,000 copies sold and another print run due, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married is one of the most popular novels to hit the bookshops this year and it wouldn't be in the least bit surprising if someone snaps up the film rights and makes an even more hilarious movie.

First five entries to answer the following question correctly will receive a copy of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Watermelon, signed by the author, with a miniature wedding cake as an additional prize. Ten runners-up will receive a signed copy of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married.

Publication: Irish News Journalist: Amanda Verlaque Date: 28/09/1996