PRODUCT REVIEW - Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern

How can you know someone you've never met? Joyce Conway remembers things she shouldn't. She knows about tiny cobbled streets in Paris, which she has never visited. And every night she dreams about an unknown little girl with blonde hair.

After falling and suffering a miscarriage, Joyce moves back in with her aging father when her marriage falls apart. Suddenly, she starts having the strangest daydreams, finds herself able to speak Italian, and spouts academic facts regarding architecture and Irish history. It’s like some sort of déjà vu and it overwhelms her.

Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless, but a very good father. He moves from Chicago, leaving his work and safety net behind just to be near his daughter, Bea, who now lives at London. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and meets attractive doctor Sarah, who persuades him to donate blood. It's the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time.

After that, he keeps running into a mysterious woman wherever he goes and can’t understand why he’s attracted to her. Turns out, his donation went to Joyce during her hospital stay (no shock there), and now the two are inexplicably linked. Over time, the two bumps into each other at a hair salon; he sees her on television; he sees her riding a tour bus in London; she sees him at the ballet. At each sighting and ensuing missed opportunity, they feel an inexplicable connection, a kind of love at first sight.

That is a gist of what Thanks For The Memories is all about. It is from the same author that gave us the heart-wrenching story of P/S I Love You, Cecelia Ahern. Both the novel and the movie are truly great. But, I have to say I love the novel more than the movie, no offense to Ms Swank and Mr Butler who did a very superb job on the portrayal of the roles of Holly and Gerry respectively.

Gerard Butler & Hilary Swank

Thanks for the Memories, for me, is a very unique novel. Unlike other stories, the two main characters never met or have the chance to speak to each other, not until almost at the end of the story. It's like a chasing game, or like magic. Now you see her/him, now you don't. Every time their almost-encounter happens, I have to literally restraints myself from flipping to the next pages to see if they actually meet or not (luckily, I did manage from doing it). When it doesn't happen, I was quite frustrated, but that's what makes this book different from others; and that's what I like about this book. You will not want to put this book down once you started reading it (and that's what I did).

But, this book is more about the relationship between Joyce and her father. How they cope with what had happened while her father forgetfulness and sense of humour add a touch of liveliness to the story. This is what sets it apart from other cliché chick-lit. Chick lit is genre fiction within women's fiction which addresses issues of modern women often humorously and light-heartedly. Although sometimes it includes romantic elements, women's fiction (including chick lit) is generally not considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because in chick lit the heroine's relationship with her family or friends may be just as important as her romantic relationships.

However, for me, there is one part that doesn’t quite make sense. It’s the blood transfusion part. Okay, so Justin donated his blood, and Joyce got his blood during her stay at the hospital. And then suddenly, she’s just not quite the same person—she now eats meat (before that, she was a vegetarian), speaks fluent Italian, has a vast knowledge of European art and architecture and, creepiest of all, has someone else’s memories. I’ve heard these kinds of things happen in real life not with blood transfusion, but with heart transplant. When a patient was donated with a person’s heart, the patient would somehow acquire some of the person’s attributes. It seemed a little far-fetched for me. Still, I was so immensely captivated with Justin-Joyce relationship to care about that.

I would really suggest this book for you to read in your leisure time as this is a good read. It’s fun, it’s witty and it’ll definitely makes you laugh so hard you’ll cry. I have to admit, Ms. Ahern, is a very gifted and talented person. She can get plenty of emotions out of me with just her writing.

Cecelia Ahern

It is true when people say that writing is a really powerful tool. This book teaches us a lot of valuables things. It teaches us to be grateful, the value of family, friendship and love. It is suitable for both young and old, man and woman. For guys, don’t worry, you won’t look like a girl if you read it, but if you are painfully shy of reading this openly, you can be a chick-lit closet reader!

You can find it at bookstores, like MPH or Kinokuniya. The price is affordable. You can get it from RM32.90 and above. Or, if you guys are smart, you guys can find it at stores that sell second-hand books you can get a cheaper price with a good-conditioned book, if you know how to find it.

This book is really worth burning the midnight oil for. You have to go and it read yourself to find out more about the story!



March 18, 2010 at 4:39 AM

this book used to be worth RM60. But now there is a new and cheaper version in the market which cost half the price.grrr.

ps i love you is a masterpiece.

Cecelia Ahern rocks!

  anna pattz

April 3, 2010 at 10:55 PM

yeah~ i agree with you. Cecelia Ahern do rocks! And, yes, nowadays there are many new versions of it. I think it's cheaper because it is in paperback instead of hardcover.

p/s: did you know that she wrote PS I Love You when she was only 21 year-old, and it was her first novel to boot! :)

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