"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Book Report: There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern



I really enjoy Cecelia Ahern's books (P.S. I Love You, Rosie Dunne, If You Could See Me Now). Ahern is the daughter of Bertie Ahern, Ireland's Prime Minister. And her brother-in-law is from the Irish pop group, Westlife. She is also currently the producer for Christina Applegate's ABC show, Samantha Who?. Along with her four books, she's contributed stories to many different anthologies. Plus, she's so cute.



And, judging by this article I found while hunting down her picture, her family is very much the center of media attention in Ireland.

Each of her books seems to get a bit more fantastical than the last. Her first book, P.S. I Love You, has just been made into a movie starring Hilary Swank. It tells the story of a girl whose husband dies of a brain tumor, but he leaves behind ten notes that she must open on the first of the month starting the month after his death. Some challenge her to do something outside of her comfort zone, others to help her cope with her loss. Each ends with the line, "P.S. I love you." I loved this book. Cried a lot. Am sort of disappointed that Hilary Swank was chosen for the movie (I don't know why, I just don't like her that much... but I'll still see it, and maybe she'll win me over). So, this book was super based in reality compared to her last two.

Her second book, Rosie Dunne was also very enjoyable and very realistic. It's told through emails and letters and is a story of love and friendship and life getting in the way. Very enjoyable.

Book number three is where things start to leave reality. If You Could See Me Now is the story of a woman whose family past is difficult, and she begins to see a man who turns out is an imaginary friend. He helps her to deal with things in her life that need dealing with. I just read that Disney is making this into a movie starring Hugh Jackman as Ivan, the invisible friend, and it is in very early stages of production.

There's No Place Like Here is her newest book. It's very fantastical. The main character, Sandy Shortt's neighbor/classmate disappears at the age of ten. This hugely affects Sandy. Not necessarily the missing girl, who was more her arch enemy than her friend, but in the sense that Sandy becomes obsessed with where things that disappear go. She'll spend hours searching for that sock that got lost in the laundry, etc. Eventually she grows up, becomes a police woman but quits that job to pursue a career as sort of a detective who helps families search for missing people when the police have given up. But then, she herself goes missing. She ends up in this alternate world where all the missing things and people go. She finds missing people that she's been searching for, along with all of her missing belongings. As crazy as all that sounds, it was still a very enjoyable book. She comes to appreciate her parents and the other people in her life with whom, since age ten, she hasn't really had a proper relationship. And the way Ahern jumps from the present, to revealing the back story, to what's going on while Sandy is "missing" is very well-written. Plus, there are ruby red slippers on the cover, which my daughter loves.

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