Francesca's Party

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Francesca's Party Francesca's Party

by Patricia Scanlan

Genre: Other12

Published: 2003

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When everyone expects you to fall apart, do the unexpected: Get a Life.After years of being the perfect wife and mother, Francesca Kirwan realizes one dreary fall day that her life is a sad cliché when she catches her husband, Mark, with another woman. With her safe, predictable life turned upside down and an uncertain future ahead of her, Francesca has only two choices: sink or swim. So Francesca decides to get a life . . . a life of her own making. But first she has to deal with the obstacles in her way -- her husband's ambitious young girlfriend who intends to get exactly what she wants; her teenage sons' mixed reactions to the changes in the family; Mark's own reluctance to accept the consequences of his actions; and sexy journalist Ralph Casson, who shows more than a professional interest in Francesca. Then Francesca decides to throw a party, and that's when the fun really starts . . . .From Publishers WeeklyCrowd-pleasing Irish import Francesca's Party is the latest from Patricia Scanlan (City Girl; Finishing Touches). When Francesca Kirwan drops her husband, Mark, off at the airport, he forgets his cell phone; she goes to return it, only to find him kissing svelte young Nikki. The narrative moves back and forth between spineless Mark and spunky Francesca, focusing on the latter, who gradually begins to find solace in her independence and eventually strength and happiness. Family members, like Francesca's unsympathetic mother and devoted teenaged sons, provide as much friction as support. The dialogue is crisp and intelligent, and there are plenty of amusing scenes, including a showdown between Francesca and "cheeky little tart" Nikki, that will have readers cheering for the modest heroine. Scanlan shows that living well is indeed the best revenge. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalFrancesca Kirwan, who at 40 has been married for 22 years, is firmly entrenched in her role as mother and housewife. Her sons are both grown, but she still takes care of her crotchety father-in-law and self-centered, investment banker husband, Mark. Then her life suddenly and drastically changes when she catches Mark kissing Nikki, a sexy younger woman. Francesca soon learns that Mark and Nikki have been having an affair for some time, so she kicks Mark out, and he moves in with Nikki. Although Nikki would like to get married, her relationship with Mark never evolves that far. Though reminiscent of Elizabeth Berg's Open House, this book is different in that readers get the perspective each of the main characters. Readers are therefore aware of Nikki's manipulation and are not surprised when Mark wants Francesca back. The titular party comes near the end when it's clear Francesca has taken a situation that seemed disastrous and turned it into an opportunity for growth. A former librarian, Scanlan lives in Dublin, where this book takes place; she is the author of eight previous novels (City Lives, Apartment 3B). Fans of women's fiction and authors like Maeve Binchy will enjoy. For most public libraries. Karen Core, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., BaltimoreCopyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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