A Special Relationship: A Novel Paperback – 2011
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From the Back Cover
Praise for The Pursuit of Happiness:
“Kennedy cannot help but write grippingly, and he weaves threads of love and betrayal into a thrillingly masterful ending.” -- Observer
“This is the novel against which the rest of the year’s output demands to be judged.” -- Express on Sunday --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A thirty something journalist, Sally Goodchild, meets a handsome Englishman in Cairo while on assignment. Tony Hobbs is a foreign correspondent for a major London newspaper and as one thing leads to another, Sally ends up pregnant and Tony offers to marry her though insists she must come back to England. This all sounds rather mundane, but as the narrative unfolds, we find that all is not as it seems in their relationship.
Sally experiences all the cultural differences as an American living in London. She experiences `cultural shock' to a minor degree, but while reading her observations and feelings, and having lived in different countries as well, could relate, however her husband Tony, strangely, never offered any support, leaving the poor (pregnant) woman to her own devices.
Sally finally has the baby and it is not a smooth delivery. She comes out of the experience a total wreck, emotionally and less so, physically. She finds the hospital staff without empathy and in some cases, sadistic. Sally has no support from family as she is all alone. Tony becomes a phantom, occasionally coming home and ignoring the baby. Sally attempts to describe her dilemma, her feelings, but her husband merely scoffs and arrogantly disapproves, giving her the impression that she's being a child and should "grow up!"
Needless to say, Sally comes close to ending it all, hitting rock bottom.
Douglas Kennedy is a master at taking a character to the heights to then drag them down further than the reader would think possible: The Big Picture and his first novel, The Job, are good examples.
We feel Sally's desperation, her insanities, her frustration as a new mother and her various reactions to her situation. Does this poor woman bounce back?
This is an excellent novel, the author doing his job, immersing us into the character, feeling her emotions and her desperation and finally, her choice to climb out of a terrible, hopeless situation...and she does it with flair and style.
A Special Relationship is entertaining and informative, revealing what good writing is all about...A firm 5 Stars.
This is an unusual subject for a male author to tackle, especially written as it is in the first person. It takes a while for Kennedy to find his stride. Initially Sally failed to win my sympathy and I thought the description of her new days as a mother was less than convincing. But the book picks up momentum as it goes and before too long I was riveted - to the point where I would wake in the middle of the night and seriously consider getting out of bed to read more! Although the story is relatively simple, there are some nice little twists and Kennedy sets a good pace. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in two days.