Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling is (funnily enough) the third book in the Aisling series, but it’s the first time I’ve listened to Aisling’s story on audiobook and I have to say, it was a pure delight. The narrator, Amy McAllister, was just perfect, she sounded exactly how you’d want Aisling to; it’s basically like she’s 100% a real person now.
Book two in this (eventual) five-book series was The Importance of Being Aisling and saw our heroine leave Dublin, move back to her home town in the country, Ballygobbard and open her successful cafe BallyGoBrunch. This is where the latest instalment picks up; Aisling is a top-notch business woman and taking her role as bridesmaid for (her best friend) Majella and Pablo’s wedding extremely seriously. She is also about to turn 30, which leads to a lot of reflection and assessment about where she is in her life. All the trademark warmth, wit and hilarious lines are present and I felt emotionally invested from the very first page. No spoilers, but the ending of Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling didn’t go where I thought it would – and that made me like it even more. It did leave things very open ended though, so imagine my joy when I saw on Twitter that the authors, Emer McLysaught and Sarah Breen, are already meeting to discuss the plot of book 4.
It intrigues me as to how people co-author a book when there is just one character and voice throughout. I interviewed the authors of Scoundrels, Duncan Crowe and James Peak, who co-authored their book and they gave me an insight into their process, but it was a little different as they had two leads characters, so wrote one each. Here, Emer McLysaught and Sarah Breen must write different sections – both as Aisling – but you really can’t tell, they are both so intrinsically Aisling, it’s very impressive! I guess this comes from knowing their character so well. Aisling truly is fully formed (this is due to her origins, which I wrote about in my review of book one, Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling, if you’re interested in a little more back story) and this is what makes her so easy to care about. It’s also why people can’t get enough of her.