Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaught and Sarah Breen – Book review

When it comes to comfort reads, there’s nothing like the latest instalment in the Aisling series. Aisling and the City is the fourth (and penultimate) book in the wildly successful and addictive series, co-written by Irish authors Emer McLysaught and Sarah Breen. I’ve been a fan since book one and was so happy to be back in Aisling’s company to discover the latest goings on in her life.

I listened to this on audiobook after loving the narration of Amy McAllister when I listened to book three: Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling. We pick up where that book left off (so I would recommend going back to the start of the series and catching up before reading this one!) Aisling finds herself at a pivotal moment: her business is successful, she’s single and ready for a new challenge. And she gets one.

A dream job

Due to her excellent organisational skills (that were spotted by New York party planner extraordinaire, Mandy when Aisling was planning a wedding of a local celeb in book three) Aisling is offered an amazing job at Mandy’s event planning agency… in New York!

She can’t turn it down, so packs up her things, says her goodbyes and moves in with a distant relative in Queens. From an iconic U2 story, Aisling’s rendition of Riverdance that had me in stitches, to the fast-paced New York dating scene and a certain hunky fireman, via the Irish mafia and so many Americans waxing lyrical about their Irish roots (also – who knew Lemsip was such a valuable currency in New York?) Aisling and the City was a joy from page one.

Aisling’s best friends Majella and Sadhbh do, of course, make appearance (I have such a soft spot for Majella) so we get to catch up on their lives too.

Funny and heartwarming

The reason this book is so enjoyable is all down to the wonderful characterisation of Aisling. If you haven’t read the previous books, Aisling a very specific type of person, as described here – it might give you a clearer indication of the Aisling phenomenon and will certainly make you see why I’ve fallen for her. She feels like my genuine friend at this point and I just want things to work out for her!

One small thing – if you’d asked me the one thing I didn’t want referenced in this book, it would be the pandemic. And while technically, it wasn’t, there was a random sub-plot that alluded to it in the second half of the book and I’m not sure why?

But even a rogue pandemic ref didn’t dampen how much I enjoyed reading this – as always, I felt genuinely sad when it ended. Even though it’s set in NYC, Aisling and the City is still so very Irish – which was wonderful. Plus, the absolute cliff-hanger it ended on! Bring on book five.

Also – a big shout out to the amazing array of accents and characterisation by narrator Amy McAllister, she is super-talented and made a brilliant book even better!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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