This Charming Man

This Charming Man

by Marian Keyes


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This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

“Keyes displays razor-sharp insight….A thoughtful book that will arouse empathy, anger, and finally satisfaction.”

Rocky Mountain News (Denver)


This Charming Man has everything Marian Keyes fans have come to love—laughter through tears, great friendships, and flawed but lovable heroines that readers can relate to. The internationally beloved author of Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, Anybody Out There? and her latest blockbuster, The Brightest Star in the Sky, to name just a few of her bestselling novels, Keyes now gives us a darkly enchanting fable of four women whose lives are shaped and devastated by one Irish playboy politician. “Keyes’s protagonists shine, even at their darkest,” Entertainment Weekly tells us, as This Charming Man demonstrates yet again that “Keyes juggles the serious and the comic with ease” (Miami Herald).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061124044
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/05/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 563
Sales rank: 500,470
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Marian Keyes is the author of ten bestselling novels and two essay collections. She lives in Ireland with her husband and their two imaginary dogs.

Read an Excerpt

This Charming Man
A Novel

Chapter One


Day zero. Monday, August 25, 2:25 P.M.

The worst day of my life. When the first wave of shock released me from its fiendish grip, I couldn't help but notice that Paddy hadn't called me. Ominous. I was his girlfriend, the media was going wild that he was getting married to another woman, and he hadn't called me. Bad sign.

Called his private mobile. Not his ordinary private one, but the private private one that only I and his personal trainer have. It rang four times, then went to message; then I knew it was true.

End of world.

Called his office, called his home, kept ringing his mobile, left fifty-one messages for him—counted.

6:01 P.M.

Phone rang—it was him!

He said, "You've seen the evening papers?"

"Online," I said, "I never read the papers." (Not relevant, but people say the oddest things when in shock.)

"Sorry you had to find out in such a brutal way. Wanted to tell you myself but some journalist—"

"What? So it's true?" I cried.

"I'm sorry, Lola, I didn't think you'd take us so seriously. We were just a bit of fun."

"Fun?" Fun?

"Yes, only a few months."

"Few?! Sixteen of them. Sixteen months, Paddy. That's a long time. Are you really marrying this woman?"


"Why? Do you love her?"

"Of course. Wouldn't be marrying her if I didn't."

"But I thought you loved me."

In a sad voice, he said, "Never made you any promises, Lola. But you are agreat, great girl. One in a million. Be good to yourself."

"Wait, don't go! I have to see you, Paddy, please, just for five minutes." (No dignity, but couldn't help myself. Was badly distraught.)

"Try not to think badly of me," he said. "I'll always think fondly of you and our time together. And remember . . ."

"Yes?" I gasped, desperate to hear something to take edge off the terrible, unbearable pain.

"Don't talk to the press."

6:05 P.M. to midnight

Rang everyone. Including him. Lost count of number of times, but many. Can be certain of that. Double, possibly triple figures.

Phone was also red-hot with incoming calls. Bridie, Treese, and Jem—genuine friends—offered much comfort even though they didn't like Paddy. (Never admitted it to me, but I knew.) Also many fake friends—rubberneckers!—ringing to gloat. General gist—"Is it true that Paddy de Courcy is getting married and not to you? Poor you. Is terrible. Is really, really terrible for you. Is so humiliating. Is so mortifying. Is so shaming! Is so—"

Kept my dignity. Said, "Thank you for kind wishes. Must go now."

Bridie came to see me in person. "You were never cut out to be a politician's wife," she said. "Your clothes are too cool and you have purple highlights."

"Molichino, please!" I cried. "Purple makes me sound like a . . . a teenager."

"He was too controlling," she said. "We never got to see you. Especially in the last few months."

"We were in love! You know what it's like to be in love."

Bridie had got married last year, but Bridie is unsentimental. "Love, yes, very nice, but no need to live in each other's pockets. You were always canceling on us."

"Paddy's time is precious! He's a busy man! I had to take what I could get!"

"Also," Bridie said, "you never read the papers, you know nothing of current affairs."

"I could have learned," I said. "I could have changed!"

Tuesday, August 26

Feel the whole country is looking at me, pointing and laughing. Had boasted to all friends and many clients about Paddy and now they know he is marrying someone else.

My equilibrium destroyed. On a photo shoot in the Wicklow Hills for Harvey Nichols Christmas catalog, I ironed oyster-colored silk bias-cut Chloe evening dress (you know the one I mean?) at too high a heat and burned it! Scorch mark in the shape of the iron on the crotch of iconic dress worth 2,035 euro (retail). Destroyed. Dress was intended to be the pivot of the shoot. Was lucky they didn't charge me (i.e., bill me, not have me arrested, but could be either, actually, now that I think about it).

Nkechi insisted on taking control—she is an excellent assistant, so excellent that everyone thinks she is my boss—because my hands were trembling, my concentration was in ribbons, and I kept having to go to portaloo to vomit.

And worse. Bowels like jelly. Will spare you the details.

8:30 A.M. to 12:34 A.M.

Bridie and Treese visited me at home and physically restrained me from driving round to Paddy's apartment and demanding audience with him.

3:00 A.M.

I woke up and thought, "Now, will go!" Then noticed Treese was in bed beside me. Worse, was awake and prepared to wrestle.

Wednesday, August 27, 11:05 A.M.

Constant loop in my head, He is marrying another woman, he is marrying another woman, he is marrying another woman. Then every few hours I think, What?! What do you mean, he is marrying another woman?! As if discovering it for the first time, and simply cannot believe it. Then am compelled to ring him, to try to change his mind, but he never picks up.

Then the loop starts again, then the surprise, then I have to ring him, then I get no answer—again and again and again.

Saw picture of this so-called Alicia Thornton. (At the newsstand buying a Crunchie when I saw it on the front page of the Independent.) Photographer had caught her coming out of her Ballsbridge offices. Hard to be certain but looked like she was wearing Louise Kennedy. Said it all. Safe. Elegant but safe.

Realized I recognized Alicia Thornton—she had been photographed four times with Paddy in glossy society pages over last few months. Caption had always read, "Paddy de Courcy and companion." When photo number three had appeared, I had felt emboldened enough to question him about her. He accused me of not trusting him and said she was a family friend. I believed him. But what family? He has no family!

This Charming Man
A Novel
. Copyright © by Marian Keyes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

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This Charming Man 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The media and most of the female population of Dublin named Paddy de Courcy ¿Ireland's most eligible politician¿. Many females dream of being the one who caught the handsome hunk. However, when he announces his engagement, a horde of women go into mourning.------------------- Stylist to the rich and famous Lola Daly is especially stunned feeling betrayed as she had been seeing Paddy for over a year and had no inkling he was dating someone else more seriously. Reporter Grace Gildee is also a wee bit surprised as she remembers Paddy from college when he and her twin sister Marnie had an odd relationship that led to her sibling becoming emotionally fractured. Unable to resist and not trusting Paddy, Grace investigates only to learn the truth about the soulless rogue. She decides it is time for a reckoning with the help of Marnie and Lola.-------------- This is a great charmer that balances darkness with hope. The three women are solid characters teaming up on a mission of vengeance while their antagonist is a fabulous shallow hunk who uses people like a soul draining vampire. Using dark humor at the perfect moments, Marian Keyes provides a strong look at the causal effect of alcohol and drug abuse, depression and suicidal tendencies, and violent relationships leading to individual destruction. THIS CHARMING MAN is a superb character study.------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally love Marian Keyes' books, I have them all...this one was not good. It was so bad I actually sold it instead of keeping it in my collection. It was hard to read the fragmented writing style from one character's viewpoint. The story was much darker than I expected and just not a fun read.
SerafinaJP More than 1 year ago
CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!!- I am a huge fan of Marian Keyes. Rachel's Holiday and Anybody Out There? are my favorites. I really really liked This Charming Man, but gave it only 4 stars for one reason: The decisions Grace makes with respect to Paddy are not believable. Grace knew what Paddy did to Marnie and yet was still drawn to him?? I have a sister and I can tell you if my sister was hurt in that way I would never go near 5 feet of her abuser. Other than that I loved the book. I didn't find Lola's sections difficult to read. They were hysterical. Thanks Marian for a wonderfully entertaining book that made us laugh and cry all in one.
BLUEEYEBE More than 1 year ago
The charming man is Paddy de Courcy, a smooth-talker for sure. This book is told from four women's point of view. There was a great ending in which everyone got their just desserts. Love these kind!!
coness More than 1 year ago
Although it is a work of fiction, the author weaves deep topics, such as alcoholism and abuse, into the story line. At the beginning, I was put off by the short, choppy journaling of Lola, and was relieved to see that the author didn't use that method when telling the other characters' stories. Paddy was a piece of work (and all of us know someone like him that has influenced either us directly or someone close to us) and it was great to see him get his just reward! There was a twist to the story at the end that I didn't see coming. Nice job, Marian. This is my first book by this author and I will look forward to reading more.
catgurrrl More than 1 year ago
This Charming Man is a wonderful book--I absolutly loved it!! Marian Keyes is a wonderful writer--I love all of her books. I recommend this book to everyone!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed all of Marian Keyes' books, so I was a little surprised to not dig this one very much. The premise of the book was promising and there were some truly good moments. However, I found it hard to care about any of the characters and I was particularly disappointed that Alecia's viewpoint was reduced to about 4 total pages of the entire book. Maybe because the topics (alcholism and domestic violence) were so sensitive, I found it hard to find the whimsical, comedic tone I've come to appreciate with Keyes' previous work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do you really need anything else? Four women connected to one CHARMING MAN? Didn't think so. The man is Paddy de Courcy, considered by many to be the JFK of Dublin--smooth-talker with big ideas and lots of charm. The book is told from the point of view of each of the four women, which made it interesting for me. Also, there was a great ending in which everyone got their just desserts. That too made me happy. Not much more I can say other than 'buy it!'
tara35 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
This Charming Man is the story of Paddy de Courcy, a handsome young Irish politician, and four women whose lives he has affected. The book deals with some serious issues, as Keyes' books often do, and Keyes injects some suspense as well by not always letting the reader know exactly what is happening or who it is happening to.The story is told from the four women's points of view and this is where I had a little trouble with this book. One of the women is Lola and the first 75 pages of the book begins her story. It is written in diary form, in a sort of stream of consciousness way, not always using complete sentences or proper grammar. This made it difficult for me to become engaged in this book and I worried that if the entire book was written this way I wouldn't be able to finish it. Happily, the other character's parts were written more traditionally and I did become absorbed in this book and couldn't put it down for the second half. This book was in turns funny, sad, frightening, and loving. While it wasn't my favorite book by Keyes, if you can get past the first part I think it's an enjoyable read.
Celcila More than 1 year ago
I’m a fan of Marian Keys, but “this charming man” was difficult to read! The grammar is atrocious!!! I felt like I was reading a novel th had been written by a kindergartner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By far the worst Marian Keyes book I've read. I almost gave up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't seem to get into this novel. I've read all of her books and have loved her for years. Am I missing something? I'm pushing through...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Melisa Cormier More than 1 year ago
I have read several of Keyes books and I loved them all, this book on the other hand was BAD! The first part of the book honestly ruined it all for me, I have no clue why Keyes would choose to have the first half of the book be from the view of an idiot! I understand writing in the mind of the character you want to portray but a bad idea to have an idiot/fragment sentance filled fist half of a book! I got so frustrated with the fragment sentances and stupidity that I actually threw my nook out of rage. Maybe there should have been some revision and maybe had that part in the middle of the book so people actually knew what's going on! Clearly I have learned my lesson and will from here on out read a bit of Keyes books prior to purchase. I only wish I could get my money back so I could buy a book worth reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
Marian Keys has a knack for writing. In her books, she brings about real life struggles that people go through, adding touch of reality to her novels. "This Charming Man" centers around domestic abuse, depression, true love, alcoholism, and trust. Its tells the story of 3 woman, all who have been with one charming man 'Paddy deCorsy' and how their lives were deeply impacted by him. Now, although I was a bit disappointed in the end (because it didn't tell us what happened next) I was pleased reading it. Its a hit, and one that should not be missed!
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