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Always And Forever [Paperback]

Cathy Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sept. 19 2005
Fairy godmothers do exist, even in the tranquil hills of Ireland... Once upon a time, in the beautiful town of Carrickwell, lived three women whose lives were mapped out: Ambitious Mel would have her career and her family; caring Daisy a child with the boyfriend who is everything to her; and hot-headed Cleo would finish her degree and step into the family hotel business. Until the landscape shifted and it all came tumbling down. But Carrickwell, nestled in the shadows of Mount Carraig, is an ancient, magical place. And when Leah, a woman with her own secret turmoil, opens the Clouds Hill spa, Mel, Daisy and Cleo are thrown together – and find the courage to discover what really matters to them, always and forever…

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From Booklist

This charming novel, set in the quaint town of Carrickwell, Ireland, centers on the absorbing stories of three women. There's Mel, a working mother who is worried about losing her sense of worth if she stays at home. There's Daisy, a go-getter clothing buyer whose all-consuming dream to have a child is shattered by her boyfriend's betrayal. And there's Cleo, the willful twentysomething who thinks she has what it takes to rescue her family's hotel, if only they believed in her abilities. They're all brought together by the Cloud's Hill spa, which--along with is enigmatic owner, Leah--seems to have the power to make visitors discover and achieve their true desires. Kelly succeeds in making each woman a complex and interesting character and creating a plot that blends humor and poignancy, light moments and tension. This novel has something that will appeal to adult story lovers of all generations. Aleksandra Kostovski
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


PRAISE FOR CATHY KELLY: 'An absorbing heart-warming tale.' COMPANY 'The gap in the market left by Maeve Binchy packing away her laptop has been well and truly filled by Cathy Kelly!A soap opera of tears and laughter.' DAILY MIRROR 'Warm and delightful' New Woman 'Totally believable' ROSAMUNDE PILCHER

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She could be writing about you or me.... Oct. 4 2013
By Lorrah
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read 9 or 10 of her novels so far. There isn't one I have not enjoyed thoroughly. I love how she writes about every day people in every day situations, and not one of these situations/themes have been repeated in her next novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting character driven contemporary fiction Dec 27 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
In Carrickwell, Ireland three women struggle with the respective directions of their lives. Mel Redmond struggles with guilt feelings as she precariously balances her career at Lorimar with raising her two children. Cleo has just graduated from a hotel management course and wants to prove to her hotelier family that she can do the job as good if not better than they as she offers ideas to save the Willow Hotel, but neither her parents nor her brothers take her seriously. Daisy Farrell yearns for a baby with her long time live-in lover Alex, but fails to conceive so they go to a fertility clinic though he seems very reluctant and has since he became ill several years ago.

The three women find their life map devastated with detours and u-turns as nothing goes right. That is until the opening of the new Clouds Hill Spa by Leah, who is looking to start over with a better balanced lifestyle. Mel, Daisy and Cleo find the spa gives them moments to relax and place perspective on what matters in life and the courage to ALWAYS AND FOREVER seek to achieve what means the most to the individual; of course it is easier to try after a beauty treatment.

This is an interesting character driven contemporary fiction starring three women each suffering from a person crisis that requires change in their lives if they are to achieve any modicum of harmony. The R&R pampering at the spa enables them to unwind and obtain perspective so that their predicament no longer seems like climbing Mount Everest. Cathy Kelly's message is simple that everyone needs a little pampering magic.

Harriet Klausner
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me relax and enjoy Feb. 20 2007
By A. Bennett - Published on
I really enjoyed reading this book. At first one of the characters annoyed me, but once I kept reading she became higher on my list. I think that any woman who reads this book will be able to compare themselves to at least one of the characters. At first I was just like one of the characters Mel, but then soon realized I was a little of each one.

This book is a great story of 3 woman who are going through crazy times in their lives and all the obsticles they go through. I really enjoyed how one chapter was about a certain character and once that chapter was over you had to wait until 2 chapters later because the author took turns for each character. That was very smart, made you just not want to put the book down. Don't be fooled by the back of the book saying about 3 woman who go to a spa, that is not till the end and it doesn't make the whole story. The whole book is great at knowing the characters and everything they are going through, not a day at the spa. Read it and you will just feel like you are in another world wanting to help each character.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too much Cathy Kelly July 12 2007
By E Anderson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Always and Forever took me longer to get into than your typical Cathy Kelly book. Each of the characters had her own tragedy of life occurring and needed mothering and helpful advice - in comes Leah the owner of the new local spa. Leah helps Daisy through the inability to be pregnant and the fact that her boyfriend of over ten-year never loved her and left her after he got his new girlfriend pregnant. She gives her motherly advice and strength when she needs it. Leah also gives Mel courage to go back to work after the huge decision to stay home from work with her 2 little girls. She also helps Cleo reconnect with her family after they sell the family hotel out from under her, crushing her dream of maintaining it and raising her children there as well. Leah seems to be a miracle worker while getting herself along each day after the death of her own son.

It's all just a little too cheesy, of course there is a very happy ending, and all the girls end up becoming life long friends. Although it is entertaining and heartwarming.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No plot, not much emotion, no thrills no romance - don't bother July 4 2007
By shelley de lange - Published on
I read for many reasons, but mostly for the 3 E's: entertainment, escapism, education. I love a good story, a fresh voice, a fascinating setting. Unfortunately, I didn't find any of that in this book. With each page of excrutiatingly boring description of a working-mother's day, from morning to evening, a day in which nothing really happens except what happens to her every day of her life, I kept thinking something has to happen soon, like a car crash or someone getting bad news, something, but nothing did!!! The characters don't have a fatal flaw, don't charm, they don't misstep, they have no enemies, they all have but one desire that is going unfulfilled, there's no dilemna, no crucial decision, no thrills, no chills. We all want characters that we can identify with, but we don't want to read about doing the dishes! I bought this book because I liked one of the author's previous books, but she really forgets everything any writer should know about fiction in this book. There are no scenes, just details. No beginning, middle and end, no drama. NO STORY.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and entertaining Jan. 28 2009
By E. Penney - Published on
I have picked up so many books lately that are dull, with stock characters and lame plots...I return at least 2 of 4 to the library unread. This was a refreshing change. Engaging writing, entertaining and friendly style, women you can relate to, nice setting--and the ending wasn't trite, contrived and sappy. Liked reading about the hotel and spa business, too. Will be looking for more by this author.
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