Book review: Stand By Me by Sheila O’Flanagan

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Family, relationships and romance...no-one does them better than Sheila O’Flanagan.

Stand By Me is her latest heart-warming and enchanting story of a woman who seems to have it all - a wealthy and successful husband, a beautiful daughter and a dream home.

But the secure world she has helped to build is swept away one fateful night when the man she has loved and relied on walks out on her.

Will she cope in this brave new world and is it too late to take control of her destiny?

Dazzling Domino Delahaye is feted by all Ireland as the glamorous wife of influential businessman Brendan Delahaye.

She is a generous supporter of glittering charity events, was once voted Ireland’s most celebrated hostess and is renowned for adding the ‘Domino Effect’ to every grand occasion.

But once upon a time she was a plain girl called Dominique Brady who came from a strict Catholic family in Dublin and was propelled into marriage with builder Brendan when she got pregnant.

The birth of daughter Kelly was marred by Domino’s terrible post-natal depression but she pulled through with the help of family and friends.

The only lasting legacy is Brendan’s fear of burdening Domino with problems in case it sparks a new bout of depression, but their marriage seems to work and Brendan’s building firm goes from strength to strength.

Until one night when Brendan doesn’t come home...his company has collapsed under a mountain of debts and he has simply disappeared.

After years of being a dutiful wife, Domino finds reserves of strength and purpose she never knew she possessed, but can the new man in her life really replace the man she fell in love with 20 years ago?

Flanagan’s entertaining tales of everyday life and strife have won thousands of fans this side of the Irish Sea and it’s easy to see why.

Full of charm, wit and wisdom, Stand By Me taps into the kind of dreams and dilemmas that every woman recognises as well as delivering a delicious helping of romance and escapism.

(Headline Review, paperback, £7.99)