For me there is a sure-fire way of judging how good a book is and I call it the tube test. When I'm reading, do I (a) get so engrossed that I miss my stop on the tube or (b) get so engrossed that, while I'm aware that my stop is approaching, I give serious thought to not getting off because I cannot bring myself to stop reading? If the answer is yes to either of these scenarios then my book has passed the tube test. And this book did with flying colours. I actually got up from my seat, picked up my bags and walked to the door while continuing to read to the end of the chapter (miraculously I didn't fall over or bump into anyone).
Jane Fallon writes such brilliantly real characters that their everyday battles, dramas and laughs become your everyday battles, dramas and laughs and as they leap off the page (sometimes kicking and screaming) you find yourself utterly engrossed in their lives. To put the book down mid chapter (or sometimes even between chapters) would be to stop your best friend halfway through them telling you the best, juiciest gossip you have heard in years.
Their struggles are relatable no matter what your situation. In Foursome, our main protagonist, Rebecca, is in her forties, married with two children. I have no children and am in my late twenties but I could relate. I could relate to her passive aggressive work colleague and how infuriating she is, to her desire to have more passion in an otherwise stable relationship and her internal struggles over when to meddle and when to leave well alone. She is human and though she tries to be loyal and good, she succumbs to gossip and nasty rants as do the best of us.
All in all, a very easy read and great fun. I am now a total Fallon convert and am looking forward to reading another of hers very soon - Getting Rid of Matthew.