Monday, July 26, 2010

Girl in a Spin by Clodagh Murphy


Jenny Hannigan might be a good-time party girl but all she secretly craves is a life of domestic bliss and solid respectability- worlds away from her troubled upbringing back home in Ireland.
So when she crashes into the arms of Richard Allam- the young, handsome, recently separated politician hotly tipped to lead his party to victory in the upcoming election- she thinks she's found exactly what she is looking for.
But Jenny isn't exactly politician's-wife material so Richard recruits the intensely private, charismatic publicist Dev Tennant to 'spin' Jenny to the party...and the public.
As the election gathers momentum, it turns out that Jenny has more than one skeleton in her closet and Dev is working overtime to try to keep them there.
And suddenly Jenny isn't sure what she wants anymore...

-Back cover blurb from Girl In A Spin

This is Murphy's 2nd book and she really flexes her writing muscles here. Her debut was the hilarious rom com, The Disengagement Ring. However, her current novel, Girl In A Spin, would be categorized more as mainstream or women's fiction.
Jenny is a petite, platinum blonde pixie of a girl. That alone was refreshing- it seems lately that all heroines are tall, redheaded and big boobed. Jenny isn't a 3 dimensional character, she's a multi dimensional heroine. She's a complex yet lovable character whose ex-boyfriends form a 12-step program just to get over her. A rough childhood sets the foundation for who she is and if you're like me, you'll fall head over heels in love with her roughly around page 73 when she justifies the existence of a certain Mr. Hodge in her life. That whole scenario was brilliant.
It's set in contemporary London with a trip to NYC at Christmas. It's hard to resist Rockefeller Center and skating at Christmas time.
As soon as I met Dev Tennant, I immediately thought of Colin Firth as either Mr. Darcy or Mark Darcy. A young Patsy Kensit would make a great Jenny and I kept seeing David Cameron as Richard Allam, don't ask me why. Dev Tennant has his hands full with spinning Jenny. Initially, he's bewildered and at times, frustrated by the free spirit Jenny but as the book evolves, he proves he's inherently kind and decent. And Richard is what I think all politicians are- consumed with politics and one can easily see why someone like Jenny would appeal to him-she must have seemed like a breath of fresh air for him.
Serious issues such as child abandonment and anorexia are a core thread throughout the book and Murphy deals with them deftly and realistically without being trite.
With this second book, Murphy proves that she has the potential to wear many hats as a writer. Can't wait to read her next book.