Stella Sweeney is mysteriously back in Ireland after a little stint of celebrity in America, trying to put her life back together little by little. At first we’re kind of led to believe she was an extremely famous author for a good chunk of time, but little by little it’s revealed that she was never actually all that successful. That’s what I mean about the plot being a bit lacking, I guess.
What was Stella’s book about, you ask? This is the interesting part. She was going about her funny Irish life as usual when, one day, she started losing feeling in various parts of her body and feeling quite ill. Eventually she lost all motor function and was rushed to the hospital, where it was determined that she had a rare disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome that attacks the immune and nervous systems. The description of her systems and how they just popped up out of nowhere, and then she could do nothing except BLINK for A WHOLE YEAR in the ICU, was particularly horrifying for me — I already watch way too much Grey’s Anatomy/constantly think I’m dying, so now that I know this is out there? Panic city.
So, yes, Stella was only able to blink while in the hospital, and this blinking turned into a sort of sign language between her and her neurologist (whom I obviously pictured as McDreamy), Mannix Taylor. Mannix began recording their blinking conversations, and not long after she recovered and regained all basic human functions he published the sayings as a book. Although it was privately published, the book made its way into the hands of the wife of the Vice President of the United States, which made Stella very desirable to the book publishing world. Stella and Mannix then left their spouses for each other, essentially, and moved to New York to pursue this book career, which turned out to be quite the exhausting dud.
So the story is told from Stella’s perspective, mostly, and she has the usual hilarious thoughts of Keyes’ protagonists, but I just couldn’t care that much about her story (other than the horrifying disease). I didn’t feel that strongly about her and Mannix being together; in fact, I thought it quite irresponsible that she left her husband and broke up their family (they had two teenagers) for him and relocated them to New York with no warning. The basic decision making baffled me.
So, I enjoyed this, but not as much as every other Marian Keyes novel I’ve read.