Book Review: Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon

Getting Rid of MatthewWhat’s it about?2012 WBN LogoBBC 2014

What to do if Matthew, your secret lover of the past four years, finally decides to leave his wife Sophie and their two daughters and move into your flat, just when you’re thinking that you might not want him anymore . . .

PLAN A: Stop shaving your armpits. And your bikini line. Tell him you have a moustache that you wax every six weeks Stop having sex with him. Pick holes in the way he dresses. Don’t brush your teeth. Or your hair. Or pluck out the stray hag-whisker that grows out of your chin. Buy incontinence pads and leave them lying around

PLAN B: Accidentally on purpose bump into his wife Sophie Give yourself a fake name and identity Befriend Sophie Actually begin to really like Sophie Snog Matthew’s son (who’s the same age as you by the way. You’re not a paedophile) Buy a cat and give it a fake name and identity Befriend Matthew’s children. Unsuccessfully Watch your whole plan go absolutely horribly wrong.

My thoughts

I read this as part of my World Book Night reading challenge and it’s the first Jane Fallon novel that I’ve read. Narrated in the third person it’s an attempt at a funny but realistic account of having an affair and the consquences.

So basically Helen’s pushing forty, rents a flat and has been having an affair with a married man for four years. Not exactly her life plan. So when Matthew turns up on her doorstep having left his wife she feels guilty to let him stay.  Having Matthew with 24/7 Helen realises this isn’t what she wants and sets about plotting how can she get rid of him and here the deception starts and oh the tangled web she weaves!

Some of Helen’s antics reminded me of Bridget Jones and were quite amusing but I didn’t find it hilarious or laugh-out-loud but that’s not to say others might. I actually found Helen to be quite a selfish character with Matthew not being that likeable either, he comes across as a bit wet, needy and totally out for himself so I wasn’t particularly bothered about what happened to him.  I think Matthew’s wife Sophie is the most likeable character and the one you want to empathasise with and in the end she is one that has the better outcome.

It does feel like real life especially the office politics and typical nasty office bullies you hear of with some cringe worthy scenes – the son dilemma for one, that was a bit…inappropriate and weird but I guess that adds to the humour.

Overall, an easy read with an unpredictable, surprising ending but not really anything new or groundbreaking!

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