About Us review
About Us by Sinead Moriarty is set in Dublin. The tag line to this book is – Three couples. Three love stories. One couch…
Ann is coming up to 65, she’s been married to Ken (who is 68) for 38 years and their two kids have left home. She works part time in a charity shop, which she enjoys, but overall, she is unhappy, unfulfilled and fed up.
Niall and Alice are married with four kids – Sarah (10), Jamie (8), and the twins Poppy and Ted (6). (Poppy is brilliant, I loved her!) Alice is a stay-at-home mum. They seem to have settled into a routine and both feel a bit bored. When Niall sees his best mate with his gorgeous, young girlfriend, he complains to his wife that they live like old people, and he misses spontaneity and fun.
Orla is 24 and an infant school teacher and shares a flat with her friend Zoe. Zoe loves clubbing, whereas Orla would prefer to stay at home with a book. She eventually finds a man she’d like to be her boyfriend, but she has some issues she needs to resolve. I felt very sorry for her, she had a lot to deal with.
So all three couples end up going to a relationship therapist hoping she will be able to help them. Maggie Purcell is American, in her forties and an established therapist, but will she be able to save these couples’ relationships?
I enjoyed finding out the stories of all the characters and I loved how they all intertwined with each other. The writing is beautiful – clever and witty and incredibly believable and relatable. The characters pop out of the page with realism. It was also great to hear some of the kids’ viewpoints in this; the school scenes between Poppy and her friend Lulu are some of the best in the book!
Maggie is a brilliant therapist, just what you would want in that situation – calm, level-headed, warm and easy to talk to. I enjoyed the scenes with her as these were very visual, you could really see the characters’ tensions and grievances coming out from the dialogue.
I felt a lot of sympathy for the female characters and could definitely relate to Alice’s situation, being a stay-at-home mum of four, who is permanently exhausted. (Been there!) But I emphasized with all of them. Oh and the bit with Ann and the bananas is hilarious!
Although there’s a lot of comedy in the book, there are serious issues discussed too and I found it made me reflect on my life too and how it has changed through the years. With the couples being of different ages and different stages of life, it is really interesting to see where they are in life and which bits aren’t working out. The book has a lot of depth to it.
Overall, I loved it, would definitely recommend it and look forward to reading more of Sinead’s books.
9 out of 10
By Sinéad Moriarty
27th January 2022 / Penguin General / £7.99 / Paperback
‘Such a joy to read . . . a wonderful book’ Claire Byrne
‘A brilliant read and perfect for summer. Sinéad is a master when it comes to characters who you care for and storylines that feel genuine and sincere’ Belfast Telegraph
‘Brilliant and beautifully told’ Anna McPartlin
‘Moriarty has perfected the fine dance between light and shade, turning some of the most substantial and challenging of life’s realities into compelling, companionable reads’ Irish Independent
Three women are at a crossroads – can they save their relationships or should they find happiness alone?
Three couples. Three love stories. One therapist’s couch … Alice and Niall used to be lovers, best friends and parents, in that order. Now they’re no longer on the same page or even reading from the same book. Ann thought when she and Ken retired, it would be their second spring. Instead, it feels more like an icy winter. Orla is falling in love with boyfriend Paul, but her complicated past makes her unsure if she can ever be intimate with anyone. Three couples find themselves telling a stranger about the most private part of their lives – their hopes, their disappointments, their awkward realisations. Can they learn to be honest with each other? And what life-changing decisions will be made when they do?
Sinéad Moriarty’s novels have sold over 900,000 copies in Ireland and the UK. She has won over readers and critics by telling stories that are humane, moving and relevant to modern women. In 2015 she won the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction. She lives in her native Dublin with her husband and their three children.
Press contact: Rosie Safaty / firstname.lastname@example.org