Marian Keyes: ‘Transition is extremely uncomfortable…but everything eventually settles’

The celebrated author is back with her sixteenth novel ‘My Favourite Mistake’

Listen | 61:08

Moving house is famously regarded as one of the most stressful life events that a person can go through. And for author Marian Keyes, who recently moved to a new part of Dublin, this notion certainly rings true.

“Any change brings with it several thousand emotions that just rush through me on a daily basis. I think it’s fair to say that myself and himself have never shouted at each other as much as we have in the past five or six months,” she tells Róisín Ingle on the latest episode of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast.

Keyes and her husband Tony lived in their previous home in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin for nearly three decades, having bought it when they first moved back from London in the 90s. So the change has been “exciting”, but also “very daunting”.

“Transition is extremely uncomfortable for human beings… but everything eventually settles. I’ve started to kind of reground myself, replant myself in a new community, in a new part of Dublin,” she says.


While the move has called for a period of adjustment, Keyes says she’s enjoying putting her own stamp on the house through pops of colour and picking out interesting and unique decorative items: “It’s full of like, you know, hand pottery, wonky things, crooked things. And I don’t care. It’s my house. I am buying small, inexpensive things that charm me”.

“I am never going to win home of the year. I’ve decided at this hour in my life, that I don’t give a f*** what we’re supposed to do with our houses,” she adds. “I mean, who cares what other people think… I think authenticity and individuality matter more than having your kitchen like every other kitchen on Instagram”.

Relocation and fresh starts are also at the heart of Keyes’ new novel My Favourite Mistake. The book follows Anna Walsh, as she ditches her long-term boyfriend and high-flying PR job and makes the move from the Big Apple to the wilds of Connemara. Speaking about the inspiration behind it, Keyes explains how the original idea for the book was abandoned, in favour of writing a love story instead.

“When I finished ‘Again, Rachel’ and I came to write a new book, I had plans for something big and ambitious and kind of partly about bad people. And Russia had just invaded Ukraine, and I just wanted somewhere beautiful to spend the next two years in my head, because that’s how long it takes me to write a book,” she says.

“I mean, I wrote the book that I wanted to read, basically”.

My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes is published by Michael Joseph. Marian will be appearing at the International Literature Festival Dublin on Saturday, 18th May at 8pm. Tickets from

You can listen back to this episode in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan is an audio producer at The Irish Times