Monday, 30 March 2015

Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern

Browsing the shelves at my local library the other week this bright and candy-esque cover for Cecelia Ahern's Thanks for the Memories really caught my eye. I'd been wanting to read more from this author after reading 100 Names so this came home with me.

After a terrible accident that changes Joyce Conway's future and is the final straw in breaking her marriage, Joyce moves back in with her ageing father to try and rebuild her life. But since waking up in hospital she is overcoming with memories, flashbacks and knowledge that don't belong to her. Meanwhile, Justin Hitchcock is visiting Dublin to lecture on art and architecture and is convinced to donate blood by an attractive doctor. Since the breakup of his marriage, it's the first unselfish act (well, even then he was trying to impress the doctor) he's done in a long time. Through this act of giving, Joyce and Justin are connected, but can you really know someone you've never met?

I have to say I really enjoy the plot and ideas that Cecelia Ahern creates in her books. They are always creative enough to send the characters into unusual and hilarious situations but are still grounded in reality. There's a bit of sparkle and fun in what she writes that is nicely offset by the struggles her characters face, making them digestible and not overtly twee or saccharine.

I think the only downsides of her novels can be that they are overly plot driven. Despite enjoying the characters and having a laugh and a cry at their circumstances there isn't a lot of inner soul-searching going on. When Joyce sets out to discover where these new memories are coming from there are a lot of plot events that put her and Justin within each others paths, but still just out of reach.

As I read I found that it wasn't until the last few chapters that Joyce really starting to consider her life and how the accident had affected her future but by that time as a reader it was almost too late to make a strong connection with her. Justin's character seemed to be explored more with his own family circumstances forcing him to do a spot of naval-gazing at least.

In saying that if what you are after is a fun, witty (I particularly liked her Irish father whose antics at the airport security had me in stitches) and easy read, then I would recommend picking up Thanks For The Memories.

Have you read this book? I'd love to know your thoughts!

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