Always & Forever
Cathy Kelly
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Buy *Always & Forever* by Cathy Kelly online

Always & Forever
Cathy Kelly
Downtown Press
464 pages
January 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Told with alternating chapters for its three main female characters, Always & Forever is a poignant novel set in the historical yet blossoming town of Carrickwell, Ireland.

Mel Redmond has a loving and supportive husband, a great career, and two young daughters who are growing up without her as she pursues her high-powered career. Cleo Malin wants to revitalize the family hotel by using the knowledge from her freshly acquired education in hotel management but finds her ideas and ambitions ignored. Daisy Farrell craves to turn off the ticking of her biological clock and have a baby with her long time live-in boyfriend, yet they canít get pregnant.

Always & Forever is a powerful character-driven novel that focuses on the lives of these three different individuals and the challenges they face as their lives take turns that none of them ever expected were possible. Could Mel be happy as a stay-at-home mom? Can Cleo convince her family that all is not lost and that the Willow Hotel can once again become a thriving vacation spot? Will Daisyís baby give her the happy life she imagines with Alex?

The center of this novel becomes a newly-opened Cloudís Hill Spa, which is the loving creation of Leah Meyer, a woman who survived her own life radically changing a few years earlier. A woman of few words, Leah somehow has the gift for knowing exactly what to say to any client who enters through the spaís doors.

Always & Forever is intriguing to read, unpredictable and surprising, devastating and inspiring. The reader can assume she knows how the novel will end, and no matter what is envisioned, the conclusion is fulfilling.

Cathy Kelly creates realistic female leads and gives them each exceptionally individual situations to deal with. Her characters may hit the lowest parts of their lives within the pages of this novel, but it is the authorís ability to evoke empathy from the reader that keeps the stories moving forward. The characters become friends, but the setting is as much a character as the people themselves, with the changes it endures for the sake of progress.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Lisa Haselton, 2007

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