Reviewed by A. Klink, May 2019
In the novel What She Wants Cathy Kelly’s humor follows four diverse women linked to the quaint Irish town of Redlion. Hope Parker, “Mrs. Tracksuit Bottom,” is the mother of two, and a wife of Matt, who is an ad executive/closet novelist and beneficiary of his uncle’s cottage in Redlion. Hope fears she will lose her husband ad quickly agrees to accompany him for a year’s worth of writing in Redlioin, where her marriage is challenged by her sudden feelings for another man. Hope’s sister, Sam Smith, is a modern, fashionable, London music executive, rattled by a doctor’s diagnosis and discontent that can be dealt with when she finally admits what she needs. Virginia Connell, a grieving widow from Dublin, moves to Redlion, takes up golf and finds that there is life after loss. Discontented Nicole Turner loves karaoke but dreams of singing professionally. After she’s discovered by one of Sam’s company employees, Nicole learns that fame and fortune fall short in comparison to her need for independence and love. In a novel of devastating news and new beginnings, none of them expected their lives to end like this, but all it took was a small Irish town for all of them to figure out what they truly wanted out of life.