Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search

Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty

Buy Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty at or

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Two seemingly unrelated characters find their lives becoming more intertwined as the story progresses. A sweet read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Hodder
ISBN: 978-0340998120

Share on: Delicious Digg Facebook Reddit Stumbleupon Follow us on Twitter

A fatal car crash links Kat and Milo, two people who otherwise might never have met. After all, they live in different countries, and she’s old enough to be his mother. He likes lifesaving classes and the banana muffins in his mother’s café, while she lives off cigarettes and wine, and writes for a living. And yet now, because of the crash, they are linked. They don’t realise it yet, but as time passes their lives will move closer. As secrets are unearthed, they will become bound to one another in different ways.

One of the most interesting things about this story is the change of voice. That in itself is not unusual, but it’s the change from a 9 year old to a (non-related) adult and back again that makes it special. Milo is a fun, inquisitive little boy, but he is very young – at first I couldn’t work out whether he was as young as he sounded, or whether he had a developmental problem, so perhaps if someone had told me from the start he was only 9, I might have read it differently. Kat is a more hardened character. She lives a more isolated life, with few friends, and ditches guys at the first sign of commitment. Her true self is a secret, hidden even from her parents, and while it might be a bit much to say she’s living a lie, she’s certainly not up front and honest about how she spends her days.

While this is Kat and Milo’s story, there are lots of other characters who make up a lovely supporting cast. Faith is integral to the goings on, so while we never see things through her eyes, she is portrayed through Kat’s and through Milo’s. His brothers are more minor players, but when they crop up they’re quite fun to be around, and his dad and Celia, not forgetting Damo too, all add something to the mix. From Kat’s side we meet fewer people, quite simply because she has fewer meaningful types in her life, but Minnie and Ed in particular are worth getting to know. And I felt like I did get to know them, because they are fleshed out and have minds of their own, unlike the extras you often get in books.

If I had to pick out some negatives, I would say that perhaps the other link between Milo and Kat was a bit extraneous. Not the car crash, which was fine, but when other things emerge, it in places seems a bit too unlikely, a bit too over the top. Either story would have worked, but it felt like the two together was a bit much. I also thought too much happened at the end, and that some of this action could have been spread out earlier. That said, I really enjoyed the story, finding it well-paced and with lots of surprises to pull the plot off in different directions. The start was perhaps a little slow, and I found it easy to put down at that stage, but from about the midway point I was truly hooked and sped through it on a drive back from Wales as I couldn’t stand the thought of waiting until bedtime.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

The Kinsella Sisters by Kate Thompson and Me and My Sisters by Sinead Moriarty are more Irish reads of the same genre, and worth a look.

Buy Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty at

Buy Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty at


Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.