Paddy de Courcy is getting married and 4 women found that this news was too shocking. Lola who is his girlfriend is shocked because he didn't propose to her and apparently that woman who is going to marry him is not her. Grace who is a reporter wants to find out what is happening and thinks that Lola have all the details. Marnie who is Grace sister and also Paddy's first love is hurt because she occasionally still thinks of him. Lastly, Alicia who is the woman he is going to marry was not even asked.
Lola is so devastated by the news that it has affected her work. She screwed up with the clothes she needed to bring to her client. She screwed up with a photo shooting and keep thinking about Paddy. When she couldn't take it, she took her friend's advice to take a trip to heal. So she drove to Bridie's Uncle's place in Knockavoy and stayed at his house. When she was there, she had many thoughts down memory lane. She thought of the time where she 1st met him at a graveyard. She simply stood in front of a woman's grave and imagined talking to her mother and there was Paddy visiting his mother's grave too. He asked her for a cup of hot chocolate and found out that he shares the same fate like her where their mothers passed away when they were 15, the void of not having a mother. She also thought of their first date where she was picked up by his driver and she expecting to go for dinner instead they went shopping in a sex shop where they sold kinky underwear, accessories and toys. She was shocked as he wanted to watch her try on some inner garments but she was excited at the same time because it was a first time.
While being in Knockavoy there wasn't many things to do as it was a small town. She ate at a pub, went to a DVD shop to rent movies to watch and took walks along the beach. Life was boring but she had a weird encounter where she found a pretty girl in a wedding dress at the next door place. She was beautiful and looked happy, she assumed there was going to be a wedding. But then the next day, there was a guy burning the wedding dress as if everything was over. Soon her life there became interesting and she met new friends.
Grace is the reporter who wants the inside story from Lola but still couldn't get it. She is also linked to Paddy where she 1st met him in a restaurant and she decided to work there. She was a friend to him and when he met her sister Marnie they started dating and were like soulmates. Secretly when she was young Grace had a crush on Paddy but she let her sister have him since he didn't look like he was interested in Grace. Somehow something happened which made Grace not like him. At the same time, Grace's car was stolen and then found to be burnt. Someone has a grudge on her but she don't know who.
Marnie is very unhappy and she doesn't know what is wrong. She has a wonderful husband and two wonderful girls but she still can't find happiness and have turn drinking into a way of running from the world. She drank during the day, drank after work and once found herself all hurt. Her drinking problem was really bad but she would not admit she is alcoholic.
"This Charming Man" by Marian Keyes is a story about 4 women, how they are link with Paddy de Courcy. It also tells how he affected their life in the past and the present. It slowly reveals the type person he is and the story climaxes how 3 of the women did something to change his influence on them. I like her writing where it is realistic in a way where some romance leaves a scar in people, it's hard to handle and to heal. It gives one point of view how people react to abuse and how afraid they are to confront them. No doubt there are some parts that are funny which I love and it's really something unexpected. It's different from what I read from Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot, something new and fresh to me. I like the ending where life is as real as it gets.