Two Women by Martina Cole – a review

I downloaded this book ready for the holiday and as a big fan of Martina Cole I decided it would be a good way to pass the 13 hour return flight.

As with most of her books, the story is based around a women in the East End. It starts with her as a young girl, before we follow her through her adult years. The main character is Sue Dalston, abused by her father as a child she then marries a man who turns out to be just as much of a bully as her father was. Circumstances lead to Sue ending up in prison. It is here she meets Matty  who is probably the second women of the title, although I think the description of their lives being ‘inextricably linked’ is slightly misleading as they were only together for a small part of the book.

With Martina Cole books you know what to expect. They are graphic and violent. They depict an East End in the 70s and 80s that is flooded with wannabe gangsters, drugs, violence and desperation. Its not a cheery place, and the people in it are not particularly happy. These are certainly not books for the kind of people who like to pretend that life is all fluffy and pink. However her books still manage to have a sense of humour and to have the odd light moment amongst the horror.

Unfortunately with this book I began to get a bit bored half way through, I guessed the twist at the end and felt it must just be because it was the same as all the others. I finished it because I enjoyed it and wanted to know what would happen at the end, but I did feel a little disappointed as it felt very much that I’d read it before.

However, as I’ve mentioned before in my blog I have a shocking memory.  Indeed this blog was a spin off from my starting to keep a notebook of all the books I’d read so I remembered what they were. Well as a reader not a writer, I suspect I’m not conjuring up an unexpected twist here am I? No, you guessed it.  Whilst perusing my bookshelfs when doing the ironing I realised that a papercopy of this same book was actually in front of me!

That did cheer me up no end though, as at least it wasn’t that Martina Cole was losing her touch, just me and my memory. I think it was Billy Connolly (in the book his wife wrote) that said the great thing about having such a bad memory is that you only actually need one book, which you can keep rereading.  Luckily I have a notebook and a pen to stop me doing this too often!

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