Even though this book technically isn't on my summer chick-lit reading list, I still wanted to say a few words about it, since it technically did kick off the 'summer', as I read it at a cottage on the May 24 long weekend, which is the unofficial start to the season - at least here in Toronto.
This Charming Man takes the reader through the world of 4 different women (well, really 3, as Alicia only has a tiny part in the narrative) who are all in some way connected to the infamous philandering politician, Paddy de Courcy. The story is presented through the eyes of each character in turn, and because of the sheer length of the story (almost 900 pages in paperback!) a backstory for each emerges quite clearly. My friend mentioned (when I told her I was reading this book) that only around page 350 the story really gets going, and takes twists and turns that make it almost impossible not to put down. I agree. So if you're on p. 200, 250 - don't fret. Noel from the Dole will surprise you!
One other thing that I think I can mention that doesn't give the plot away too much - I found it fascinating how Keyes describes how alcoholism is experienced from a first-person p.o.v. I never really thought about it that much, but when reading about just how serious it can get, I think I now view it in a totally new light - like it is a devastating, debilitating disorder to be reckoned with.
This was my first Keyes book and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I know I have more of hers on my list; the only thing I wish was that her books weren't so long! It can take weeks to get through it (and I'm trying for a book a week).
Right now I'm just finishing Personally, I blame my Fairy Godmother by Claudia Carroll (another great Irish novelist). I don't know what's in the beer in Ireland, but they sure do churn out great writers! ;)