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November 14, 2014

Chick Lit Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

The Woman Who Stole My Life

Title: The Woman Who Stole My Life
Author: Marian Keyes
 Penguin Canada
Publication date: November 6, 2014
Genre(s): Chick Lit 
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 553
'Okay, I'll write my introduction. 'Name: Stella Sweeney. Height: average. Recent life events: dramatic.'

Stella Sweeney is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband Ryan and their two teenage kids in Dublin. She works with - or really for - her terrifyingly ambitious sister Karen in their beauty salon. Nothing to get excited about here. Nothing to make her particularly unhappy. Or happy...

No-one would be interested in stealing her life. But then things started to happen... One day, Stella, attempting a good deed, causes a little car accident and faces down a bad tempered, handsome stranger. She hardly gives it much of a thought. But karma is hovering, and is about to take over, swoop in and change Stella's life for ever. For better or worse.

Suddenly Stella has a life. A thrilling glamorous one. A life that other people might start to covet...
I miss reading chick lits. They were such a big part of my reading life several years ago, before the young adult genre invaded my life. The Woman Who Stole My Life just made me realize how much I missed chick lits. This book is a whooping 550 pages but I breezed through them all. I have never read a book by Marian Keyes but I do own three of her books, Sushi for Beginners, Under the Duvet, and Rachel's Holiday. I am definitely bumping them higher on my TBR. 
The Woman Who Stole My Life was SO confusing in the beginning. Stick with it. It is told from two different timelines (actually the first chapter is told from an earlier timeline). I didn't know which came before what and whether at that specific chapter, the events of the previous chapter already happened. I was officially confused. However, once I got past the confusion and the author finally started clearing things up (70 pages into the book), I breezed through it. It took me a couple of days to reach page 70, but only 3 more days to read the other 480 pages. The main character, Stella, got diagnosed with a very rare disease that left her paralyzed (except for being able to blink) for almost a year. The storyline switches between the emergence of the disease, when she is 39-ish to the current state after something big happens that we don't know what, where she is 41-ish. We know Stella wrote a book, but then it flopped and now she's back in Ireland. There is an unspoken Mr. that no one ever mentions but we do meet during her stay at the hospital. That is as much as I can reveal without spoiling anything. 
Character wise, stella was the most frustrating and unliked character for me. She is the embodiment of every trait in a person I dislike. She is a push over.. literally everyone, including her son, pushes her and orders her around. Her son yells at her, her ex husband blames her for things, and all she does is agree and nod. GET MAD! GET PISSED! STICK UP FOR YOURSELF! I thought of this every single time she had an interaction with anyone. She got easily taken advantage of and I wanted to give her a wake up slap every time she backed down and let people stomp all over her. She got a book deal? her husband blamed her for stealing his life and ruining him. He kept on saying her book was crap and worth nothing, and what does she say? sorry… SORRY?! ugh. Just.. no. It was really hard sympathizing with her because I don't feel sorry for people who let other people step all over them. Ok the rant is over. 
Ignoring Stella's personality, I couldn't stop reading. Marian Keyes has a way of keeping you hooked even when only mundane things are going on in the book. I honestly always prefer British/Irish authors when it comes to chick lits because they seem to always have a way with words, of creating the most laughable situations and making the most annoying characters enduring. I really enjoyed The Woman Who Stole My Life and will be picking up more of Marian Keyes' books in the future. 


  1. Wow! It's amazing that you still loved this in spite of hating the main character. That's so rare, but it says a lot about the writing and the plot. Great review, Juhina! :)

  2. That definitely is rare. Glad you stuck with it though. The story does seem interesting.