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Review - The Many Loves of Sarah Brennan by Vikki Alexander

I read this when it was first presented as an ARC read, and I loved it. Sarah had been a somewhat polarising figure in Vikki Alexander's first book, Coloring Life, and the chance to find out her story was intriguing.

I didn't much like Sarah, from what I knew of her in Coloring Life, but from the heard-rending opening of this book, I could immediately understand how and why she had made her choices throughout her life. The damage done by her father resonated in her relationships with her sister, her mother and the men she met along the way.

This is a brilliantly realised story of a woman trying to find her way, and stumbling and falling again and again. Frankly, she isn't helped by the adults in her life, who are all dealing with their own pain in selfish ways, and when she is grown, she repeats their mistakes.

But a gloomfest, this is not. Many will recognise themselves and their own failings in Sarah, and will cheer for her as she claws her way to contentment. They will roll their eyes, as I did, at her decision-making. They will see pitfalls before she does. And I hope other readers care what happens to her, from her complicated and spiky relationship with her sister and mother, to her many romances.

I loved the realism and the observations in this book. They are pin-sharp and sometimes painful, but it's a fantastic story of a woman we all recognise. To not like Sarah ,would be to not like ourselves. Even though this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading Coloring Life to get an insight into her sister's world too.

Philip Larkin had a point when he wrote THAT poem. If there's a moral, it is that good parenting is essential to a child's emotional growth, and Sarah Brennan also shows that perfectly.


Coming of age in the 1980s wasn't easy, especially as the eldest daughter of an alcoholic divorcee and an absentee father. Sarah and her sister Julie are constantly fighting ghosts that haunt their relationships and lives. When Sarah falls in love with the handsome new stranger, everything she has been brought up to believe comes into question

A tragic accident rips Sarah's world apart, sending her in search of inner peace and purpose. Her travels take her from the suburban streets of New Jersey to the tranquility of Sedona, the turquoise water of Crete, and the towering steel skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Will Sarah overcome her past or let it ruin her chance at happiness?

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