Better Together

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Better Together, Sheila O'Flanagan, book reviewI’ve just finished reading Better Together, the latest book from Irish author, Sheila O’Flanagan and it has not disappointed in the least. It’s another wonderfully absorbing tale from this fabulous writer that had me hooked from the very first page. The story is enjoyable and intriguing and the main character is strong and likeable. This book has all the right ingredients for a great read.

Better Together starts in Dublin where Sheridan Gray is a successful sports journalist on one of the city’s newspapers. Unfortunately, there is a recession and no one’s job is safe. It still comes as a complete body blow to Sheridan though, when she is made redundant. There seem to be very few job opportunities at this time though so she eventually compromises on her aspirations and takes a job with a small local newspaper in the little town of Ardbawn. In a strange twist of fate, this paper is owned by Paudie O’Malley who was the person responsible for her losing her Dublin job.

Sheridan does not really expect to enjoy life in Ardbawn but before long she is getting to know the locals and finding working on a small newspaper strangely satisfying. She also gets to know the woman who runs the guesthouse she is staying in – Nina – who has troubles of her own. There’s also a strong whiff of romance so it’s hardly surprising that Sheridan stops hankering after her hectic city life. However, when the possibility of writing a sensationalist story arises that will obviously upset the people she has come to know, she is torn. Does she give up all that she has found in order to achieve her big break? You’ll have to read Better Together if you want to find out!

Sheila O’Flanagan has written a great story in Better Together and I absolutely loved it. There’s a very strong storyline with many different themes interwoven. I really enjoyed the backdrop of Sheridan working on a newspaper and the story did make one think a bit about newspaper ethics. All the different stories work together very well and there is also a tantalising mystery that is unpicked little by little. It is a very well written book.

The characters are also very well depicted and I enjoyed finding out more about them as the story progressed. Sheridan was a great main character as she is quite feisty and strong minded and it was entertaining to see how her attitude towards living in a small town changes over the course of the book. I liked her and therefore cared about what happened to her in both her professional and personal life. I also liked reading about her differing relationships with the other characters especially when there was a bit of a fallout!

Overall, Better Together is a very satisfying read and one that left me wanting to read more. I always enjoy Sheila O’Flanagan’s books and Better Together is definitely up there with the best.

Better Together by Sheila O’Flanagan
Published by Headline, July 2012
With thanks to Headline for sending a review copy.

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Better Together
by Sheila O'Flanagan

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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