Book review :: Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly

I’ve not done a book review for an age and what has happened to book club I hear you ask?
Well, time, my friends, time.
Time has gotten away from me and although I’ve been reading many books, I’ve forgotten to update the book club choices and stopped doing book reviews. I know, it’s not good enough.

So by way of apology, and to make up for all the posts I’ve not written, here is a book review with a difference.
The difference being, that I knew this book from when it was a teeny-tiny idea, when it was just a sparkle in it’s creator’s eyes, so to say.

If you’ve seen the brilliant quote I’ve got for If He Wakes, you’ll see it’s from my lovely friend and brilliant writer Paula Daly.  If you read my acknowledgments in said book, you’ll notice that I thank Paula for her unwavering support, so it’s no secret that she’s not just a writer whom I admire, but she’s a dear friend as well.

So there’s my full disclosure before I go on, and now the book review.

open your eyes paula daly
This particular review starts with a cup of tea, a rainy afternoon and a cozy living room with a real fire warming my bones.  I had an hour or so before the school pickup and had visited Paula for a quick brew.

“I’ve got this idea for my next book,” she began, and as always, I held my breath a little.

Because those are literally the best words you could ever say to me and to hear them coming from Paula is always just fantastic.

“Go on,” I said, trying not to get too giddy and she told me about this book.

She told me about Liverpool, her setting, the landmarks and heritage of the city that she was going to intertwine into the story.  She went on to tell me about her characters, a woman whose dream it was to be a writer, but she was failing and yet she was married to a very successful writer.

And as she told me I found myself nodding, there was the tension, there was the intrigue, she explained the relationship between the couple, the two young children they had and I could see this family and then she told me the hook.

What happens in the first chapter that propels Jane, her main character, into a whole other world. How her husband, Leon,  gets attacked in the driveway and forces her to delve into her husbands life and find out who could’ve done such a thing.
I can’t say too much more for fear of ruining the plot, but I will tell you that I was very nearly late at picking my daughter up from school that day.

Fast forward a few months and I get an email.
Paula has sent me the opening chapter. I think there may have been some prior begging for this on my part, I can’t quite remember, but what I do remember is how bloody good it was.  I read it allowed to my husband and we both marvelled on how well she depicts the characters, how quick and fast her dialogue is so much so, that we could almost hear the accents.

By the time I got to read the final version of Open Your Eyes, I knew it was amazing.  But Paula never tells me the twists and turns she puts into her work, she never tells me the ending of her stories and this was a treat.  A complete treat.

You’ll pick up this book and won’t be able to put it down until the end. You’ll think about the characters for days afterwards and you’ll want a trip to Liverpool to see the setting.

It’s already getting rave reviews and it’s a perfect holiday read. And I’m jealous of each and every one of you who’ve yet to read it.

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