Got You Back by Jane Fallon
|Got You Back by Jane Fallon
|Category: Women's Fiction
|Reviewer: Kerry King
|Summary: James never intended to lead a double life. Stephanie isn't really snooping when she finds a text message from a strange woman. Katie has no reason to believe her boyfriend, James, is cheating until someone claiming to be his wife gets in touch… Revenge is not always sweet. How do you tell someone enough is enough?
|Date: August 2008
Jane Fallon is the long suffering partner of none other than Ricky Gervais. But it is for this that she is least well-known. Fallon is a television producer, bringing us the likes of Teachers, This Life and 20 Things To Do Before You Are 30. Her first novel Getting Rid Of Matthew was on the best seller list for an indecent period of time and Got You Back was a Richard and Judy Summer read of 2007. Right, now you know who the author is and how brilliant her CV looks, let's get down to brass tacks.
Got You Back is a tale of the eternal triangle variety. A husband, a wife, a mistress and 'the ultimate plan for revenge'. So there are the meat and potatoes and ordinarily I would yawn and toss this kind of book into a pile bound for the RSPCA jumble sale but to be honest, I was intrigued by Fallon's pedigree and I'm glad of it, too.
The story begins with Stephanie, the wife, who fairly innocently stumbles across an arriving text message on her husband's phone. It is not the words I'm really missing you but the single initial and the kisses that follow. A single initial implies many things and the kisses, well, they seem to corroborate the things that the single initial implies. Stephanie is, understandably, slightly alarmed.
When Katie receives a telephone call from someone called Stephanie claiming to be her boyfriend's wife, the turmoil of emotion into which she is suddenly thrown is to be expected. She had been wondering if this day would come. You see James, her boyfriend, had told her all about his acrimonious divorce from his evil wife and Katie thought that eventually Stephanie would find out about her and try to split them up. Imagine Katie's shock when she finds out that actually, Stephanie and James are still very much married, living together and up until recently, perfectly happy, thank you!
In a bizarre twist, now that the two women know about each other, they settle on a pact to make James pay for his mistakes. But revenge is not always sweet and when one woman thinks enough is enough and the other does not know when to stop, how do you keep events from getting terribly out of hand?
I am not usually terribly fond of the wife-husband-mistress novel. I generally find it such a hackneyed and well-worn path that any variation on the theme is unlikely. And although many tomes on the subject have been trotted out (some with obviously more success than others – Lady Chatterley's Lover for instance being in a different universe of excellence to, say, The Adultery Club by Tess Stimson), however it seems that there are still some small areas of the subject to be explored and Fallon's story did not disappoint. I should quickly add that it was not in the same league as Lady Chatterley – obviously – but it was never trying to be. What Fallon has delivered is a witty, clever, well-considered story that has been told from all three angles. You can sympathise with the wife – naturally – but you can also sympathise with the poor mistress, who it seems has been led quite a merry dance. Latterly, however, your sympathies lie quite squarely with the cheating hound of a husband. Mad, or what? In fact, I can see this story ending up on television and I picture James Nesbitt playing the part of James. Anyway, I digress.
In summary, I was pleasantly surprised. Jane Fallon is deserving of her extended stint in the best seller lists and I quite fancy a crack at Getting Rid Of Matthew on the merits of Got You Back.
If you enjoy a leisurely romp around the chick-lit genre, and in the same vein, you might like to try Other People's Husbands by Judy Astley and I mentioned The Adultery Club, though I can't in all seriousness, recommend it, but I am only speaking for myself. It sold very well. Otherwise, if the subject matter leaves you cold and you fancy a clever, witty and charming read, take a look at Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes and similarly you may like to laugh loudly at Notting Hell by Rachel Johnson.
You can read more book reviews or buy Got You Back by Jane Fallon at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Got You Back by Jane Fallon at Amazon.com.
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I thought that Getting Rid Of Matthew was one of the most tiresome books and without a single likeable character that I have ever read. They were all so so so horrrrrible. I wished they died terrrrible deaths. Ugh. Stay away.