Beautifully nuanced ... Not as comedic as some of O'Leary's other novels, this is a lovely look at the nature of love and how to tell if someone is the right person for right now--or the right person for always ... Poignant and compelling...The No-Show is an engrossing novel ... O'Leary does an excellent job, as always, of creating a charming, realistically flawed romance, while simultaneously tapping into the darkly funny side of life.
[O'Leary's] most ambitious project yet ... The No-Show is a clever combination of mystery and romantic comedy that will keep readers engaged from first page to last. The already talented Beth O’Leary has outdone herself with her fourth novel, and readers definitely will want to show up for whatever she has planned next.
Romcom queen Beth O'Leary has produced another of her smart, fast-moving novels. As the book progresses, you find yourself rooting for all three women ... The beauty of The No-Show is in the plotting. Eventually the question becomes not so much who will each of these women end up with (and will any of them end up with the jerk?) but how is O'Leary going to tie all of this together? Nothing is what it seems ... The book is built like a Jenga tower — so many pieces, and each one crucial to its structure. It's a deliciously fun read and so fun to figure out.
While the story starts off as though it’s a romantic comedy, the content gradually shifts, and a clever twist toward the end may leave readers feeling they’ve read a thriller more than any sort of romance. With thoroughly likable characters...this plot-driven novel is fast-paced and engaging throughout. Full of both humorous and heart-wrenching moments, the novel is packed with the perfect mix of contradictions to keep it engaging ... An expertly plotted romantic surprise about self-forgiveness and second chances.
if you’re expecting an absurdist comedy in which everything is played for laughs, you’re in for a surprise. While Beth O’Leary’s The No-Show is frequently funny and playful, it’s never silly or frothy. O’Leary digs deep into the stories of these women: They’re three-dimensional, thoughtful, challenging people dealing with real problems and real feelings that are absolutely no joking matter ... Each woman gets only a third of the book to herself, but O’Leary manages to convey intimate knowledge of each woman and her loved ones . . . with one exception. Joseph remains something of a cipher. O’Leary never steps inside his head to understand what he’s thinking or feeling. O’Leary cleverly uses literary smoke and mirrors to keep Joseph’s motivations mysterious, and to keep the reader invested regardless ... But the fact that such a pivotal piece is missing for most of the novel may leave readers cold, especially those looking for a more traditional love story. Siobhan, Miranda and Jane are painted so vividly that it’s frustrating to have their mutual love interest merely sketched in. When the romances aren’t center stage, The No-Show is a terrific read, filled with people who are enjoyable company even when the story goes to dark places ... The No-Show is sweeter and sadder and deeper and lovelier than I expected, and I enjoyed reading it. But I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t constantly been questioning 'whydunnit.'
Captivating ... O’Leary pulls off an impressive balancing act, unraveling each woman’s backstory while meticulously drawing connections between them and celebrating them for their differences. The attention to detail adds depth to each character—even Joseph will win readers over—and the twisty plot keeps readers both guessing what will happen next and rooting for happy endings across the board. This is a knockout.
Pay no attention to the pink illustrated cover. Though it delivers laughter and love, Beth O'Leary's The No-Show is more romantic dramedy with a side of mystery than zany romcom ... I found The No-Show fascinating and worthy of more than one read. That said, structurally, this novel sometimes feels like a cheat. It's like a jigsaw puzzle with key pieces withheld for maximum effect. There are four main characters, but we only see the story through the eyes of the three women. Joseph's point of view is reserved for the end. Plus, like Pulp Fiction, the narrative is deconstructed, with events unfolding out of sequence. But there's no timestamp to guide the reader and no indication as to how these perspectives and timelines fit together until close to the end ... Given these narrative choices, to read The No-Show is to be bombarded with more questions than answers. I relished it and I cursed it at the same time. For readers looking for a romantic narrative that follows a linear progression or traditional path, this is not that book. The No-Show defies classification: It's romance, it's mystery; it's domestic and psychological drama. But O'Leary is as generous as she is challenging. All four main characters experience true and lasting love (at least for a time) ... O'Leary may not fit neatly into any of the usual categories, but she excels at what she does, which is to blend love and the darker realities of living – experiences like domestic violence and harassment— with humor and narrative experimentation. The No-Show is the culmination of these adventures in storytelling. As powerful and engaging as it is romantic, O'Leary's new novel has the emotional resonance of her debut hit The Flatshare with greater complexity ... At its best, the tender and fragmented narrative feels like a metaphor for experience – how we only ever know part of the story of our lives and control even less. Since grief and trauma hold space alongside the laughter, it's best for readers who like to be put through their emotional paces before the happy ending.