Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: "Thanks for the memories" by Cecelia Ahern

The name "Cecelia Ahern" has always floated around my literary consciousness, been there in the foreground, but for some reason I've always overlooked her books in favour of other popular authors. What a mistake to make.
 
I recently picked up a copy of "Thanks for the memories" and I'm so glad I did. Whilst this book does have elements of the "chick-lit" genre (the love story, the near misses, the happy ending), ithere is more to it than this. 

Ahern uses elements of the supernatural to grip the reader, and whilst this is something I usually shy away from (I struggled with Harry Potter for this reason), Ahern keeps the plot simple, easy to follow, even for the most imagination-starved reader such as myself.

The basic concept is this; Justin, a recently relocated divorcee is persuaded into giving blood in exchange for a date. Joyce, a soon-to-be-divorced estate agent with a troubled personal life, receives his blood donation, and with it receives memories, skills and knowledge that she did not possess before. Throughout the novel, their paths cross several times, sometimes intentionally, sometimes chaotically. I won't give too much away, but the plot is gripping until the very end.

Several times I found myself howling with laughter due to Ahern's brilliant ability to bring a scene to life; the scene of Joyce's dad attempting to collect his suitcase from the airport conveyor belt particularly  sticks in my mind. Ahern also has a talent at crafting believable, realistic characters; again, Joyce's dad is the prime example. Through clever dialogue and wonderful description, he comes alive as somebody that any reader can identify in part, and, quite frankly, the novel would fall apart without him. Sadly, the character of Joyce is not quite as developed as I would have liked - despite her troubles, I found little reason to sympathise with her.

Suffice to say that I will be skipping over Ahern's books no more!

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