Sometimes we need all the glue we can get, just to hold ourselves together.
My love for books, unlike my love for words, is not a selfless one. I invest time in a book hoping to get something in return. I expect a book to keep me good company; it can make me happy, sad or happy-sad, it can make me contemplate or melancholic, it can even make me angry. That’s my deal with books. So if a couple of chapters into the book, if it doesn’t engage me I break up with it. And then I might never go back to the book or even the author, for that matter. Such has been my relationship with Cecelia Ahern and P.S. I love you. And, more than 5 years hence, quite skeptically I picked a copy of Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern from a coffee-shop book shelf. I’d had a long and tiring day, and was looking for a book to keep me company while I finished my cup of hot chocolate, and wham- magic happens! (P.S. I carefully sneaked the copy so I could finish reading it. P.P.S. It will be sneaked back to the shelf by the time this post is up.)
This story is about two people, their lives and how it connects in the most unexpected and bizarre way. Joyce Conway has just had an accident which resulted in a miscarriage of her pregnancy and her marriage. In her moment of grief she can no longer imagine holding on to her love-less marriage with Conner. Justin Hitchcock, an American academician in historic architecture, is in Dublin to deliver a lecture when he’s talked into donating blood for the very first time in his life. A divorcee who just moved to London to be near his daughter-the only true love in his life, Justin is just beginning to get his life back on track after the end of his marriage. In a twist of destiny, Justin’s life collides and entangles with Joyce, who herself is struggling to make purpose of her life after her tragedy.
Cecelia Ahern, in her masterstroke, introduces us to the protagonist, Joyce Conway, at her lowest; I felt her pain, her agony and her struggle to remain sane speak to me through the pages. But, even though my heart went out to Joyce in her sorrow and cried out of joy in her celebrations, she wasn’t my favorite character in the story; neither is Justin Hitchcock nearly as adorable. My favorites are Joyce’s dad, Mr. Conway and Justin’s daughter, Bea. They light up the story peppering it with their love and innocence. Conway reminded me of my mother in her innocence, childishness and stubborn resolve. Possibly like every parent, Conway looks out for his daughter and trusts her decisions unquestioningly. While at it he will possibly also put them in trouble with his innocent, yet mischievous ways. Bea on the other hand could well have been the parent between Justin and her. She is an understanding and caring young woman who loves her dad unconditionally. Although you would find the novel in the romance genre, make no presumptions as to who the most romantic and lovable couple in the story are, as no couple in the entire story is as cute as Conway and Gracie- you really need to read the story to find out why.
As to whether I will read more of Cecelia Ahern’s books? I will. I believe there are writers who write for the love of the language and then there are writers who write for the love of the emotions. I believe Cecelia Ahern is of the latter brand of writers. Her writing is more visual than verbal. She paints you a picture of the emotions at play in the air than what meets the eye; you might experience more from her writing than even if you were physically present there. So, yes, I’m looking forward to another beautifully writing story that she may have to tell.
ISBN: 978 0 00 731130 9