The Walsh Family

The Walsh family was the first family I ever wrote about, over 20 years ago (!) for my first book Watermelon. ‘They’ say that everyone’s first book is autobiographical but the Walshes aren’t the Keyeses. Not exactly… But there are some similarities – there are five Walsh siblings and coincidentally there are five Keyeses. But the Walshes are all girls, whereas the Keyeses are made up of three girls and two boys.

I wish I could say that I did this deliberately, that when I started writing I had a massive plan of campaign for a long writing career, that I operated out of an underground bunker with massive tables, with huge character maps of all five of the Walsh girls spread out. But alas, that’s not the case.

An upright freezer full-to-bursting with Magnums

Basically, I was familiar with the dynamic of a five-child family, it was what I’d been brought up with and so it seemed like the 'right' thing to recreate for the Walshes.

None of the Walshes are based on me or any of my siblings but the dynamic of a big, noisy family full of big personalities was something I was very comfortable with, it was what I thought a family should be like, so I recreated it automatically.

Mammy Walsh has some similarities with Mammy Keyes – most particularly their fear of cooking and their pride in having an upright freezer full-to-bursting with Magnums at all times.

I’m very fond of the Walshes and it’s been lovely to revisit them as I’ve written the stories of all five of the sisters.

  • Watermelon

    Walsh Family

  • Discover the riotously funny, tender and touching debut from the No. 1 bestselling author of Grown Ups

    'A modern fairy tale, full of Keyes's self-deprecating wit' Sunday Mirror
    'Reading a novel by Marian Keyes is like sitting at the kitchen table with your nicest, most confiding friend' Daily Mail

    Meet Claire Walsh.

    On the day she gives birth to her first child, Claire's husband James tells her he's been having an affair, and that now's the right time to leave her.

    Right for who exactly?

    Exhausted, tearful and a tiny bit furious, Claire doesn't know what to do. So she decides to go back to basics . . . and runs home to Mum and Dad.

    But it's not the sanctuary she'd been hoping for. Juggling her sisters' drama, her parents' pity and the demands of a baby, Claire desperately misses the way things were. So when James gets back in touch, eager to put things right, Claire faces a choice.

    Will she forgive and forget? Or can she find the courage to take a chance on herself, and start a life of her own?

    Love the Walsh sisters? Don't miss out on the eagerly awaited sequel to Rachel's Holiday: AGAIN, RACHEL . . .

    'A warm and hilarious page turner' Good Housekeeping
    'Gloriously funny' Sunday Times
    'Keyes is in a class of her own' Daily Express


    'Marian's writing is the truth. With big laughs' Dawn French
    'A giant of Irish writing' Naoise Dolan
    'Will make you laugh and make you cry, but will also reveal the truth of who you really are' Louise O'Neill
    'Keyes weaves the joy and pain of life in a unique and magical way' Cathy Rentzenbrink
    'One of the most honest writers writing today' Pandora Sykes
    'Compassionate, tender, incisive writing' Lucy Foley
    'Her talent for tackling serious issues with such humanity and wit is balm for the soul' Nigella Lawson
    'Marian Keyes is a brilliant writer. No one is better at making terrifically funny jokes while telling such important, perceptive and agonizing stories of the heart. She is a genius' Sali Hughes
    'Irresistible, profound. Keyes's comic gift is always evident' Independent
    'Joyful. Keyes' clever way with words and extraordinary wit. People stared at me as I laughed to myself' C.L. Taylor
    'A born storyteller' Independent on Sunday

  • Buy the book

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