Niamh Forde reviews Keyes' The Woman Who Stole My Life

Finally, I can come out in the open, give in to temptation, put it all out there, shout it from the... well, bus seat. I’M READING CHICK LIT!

For a time, chick lit just wasn’t cool and most of us wouldn’t dare to be seen in public with anything that wasn’t booker prize worthy or an age-old classic. Let’s just say, if your cover popped with pink or gave off the faintest pastel-shaded Sex And The City feel; well, you were screwed.

But Marion Keyes, it would seem, has reinvented the chick lit scene and this is a book I happily whipped out on the bus, each morning for a week, on my way to work.

I absolutely love this author. There isn’t much you can say about her that will justly describe her talent but if you’re going to get your inner chick out, this is the way to do it.


Stella Sweeney, our leading lady, is a forty-one-and-a-quarter-year-old beautician turned author; who contracts a rare auto immune disorder that leaves her in a terrifying state of complete body paralysis. Unable to communicate with anyone or move any part of her body, aside from her eyes, she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery, one blink at a time.

The story begins with Stella residing in her home in Dublin but is played out between the Irish capital and New York, following a whirlwind of promotions for her self-help book.

From the moment I met Stella I loved her. She is hilariously human, completely self-deprecating and properly Irish – so much so, that I felt like it could have been me or my best friend on the pages.

The story is orginal and with every page turned a hunger inside me was fulfilled.

The only downside, however, was that a few of the characters lacked development and the ending was a bit too sudden – even predictable – but not completely unsatisfactory.

Keyes really is queen of her genre and has, over the years, managed to cross the border of typical chick lit fluffiness into something more thought-provoking, and always relateable.

All that remains to be said, is MORE KEYES PLEASE!