Molly works in her dream profession, as an agony aunt for online magazine Teenage Kix, and is engaged to be married to Declan – it seems like her life is going along quite nicely. Then Declan gets a new job which requires him to go on a ten week induction course in Japan – their wedding will have to be cancelled but Declan doesn’t even try to explain to his bosses that he has something rather important going on. Molly is so hurt that she decides its best that they wait until after Declan comes back before they set a new date for their big day. Things go from bad to worse when Molly drops Declan off at the airport and spots her childhood sweetheart, Luke Fortune, a man with whom she’s got rather a lot of unfinished business. Will Molly hang around for Declan or is Luke a more attractive prospect?
As a lead, I think it would be impossible not to like Molly – she’s kind, clever and a good friend to her pal Ellen and even to her sister, who doesn’t necessarily always deserve it. I wasn’t completely convinced by Molly’s reasons for staying with her fiancé and as a pair they didn’t seem particularly suited or even very much in love; I wanted more for her than Declan.
Molly’s life, and in particular her career choice, has been affected by a traumatic event from her past, unfortunately I’m not sure that the author completely gets to grips with the sombre subject matter. On a similar note, I thought it a shame that Caddle doesn’t go into details about Ellen’s ex-boyfriend’s drug addiction. As Ellen was such a lovely character, I would have liked more about her background and what she’d been through which led to her being so reluctant to tell her ex that he’s going to be a dad.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic of Molly’s family. These relatives were all very different but manage to rub along together well enough; with only a low level of pretty constant bickering. I wanted more of Molly’s brother Rory, a character who seemed that he’d have a lot to offer given the chance. I didn’t like Molly’s sister Laura and certainly didn’t approve of her actions but appreciated that she felt somewhat forced into them. Laura’s relationship with her children was extremely well-written.
You should never judge a book by its cover – a sentiment I’ve expressed before, which is just as well as I’m afraid I thought the cover of this novel was frankly bizarre. It features a beach, two deckchairs and a sunhat, but the story is based solely in rainy Ireland and not one of these objects make any sort of appearance, or is referred to, in the book.
‘Always on my Mind’ is Caddle’s eleventh novel and was a lovely story with some very likeable characters. It was an easy, enjoyable read which dealt with some deeper issues at times than your typical chick lit experience, although not in as much depth as I would have liked. It was the family relationships which really made the novel stand out for me and I’d happily read a follow-on starring Molly’s very entertaining relatives.
3 and a half stars