How is it possible to 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.
Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and is persuaded to donate blood. It’s the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time.
When Joyce leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, she moves back with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of deja vu is overwhelming her and she can’t figure out why…
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Number of pages: 489
First launched: 2008
Joyce Conway has just lost her baby. His old and kind father single handedly takes care of her while her husband; an engineer is away in a far away land. Not that his presence would have made it any easier for Joyce to deal with the circumstances but the present scenario where she feels the relationship has no hope has forced her to think of abandoning her husband for good.
While Joyce’s life in ruins, Justin Hitchcock is not in a pleasant state of mind either. His marriage ended months ago and he is going around the world serving as a guest lecturer in Arts and Architecture. While exiting from one such tour to Ireland where he is lecturing the Arts students at Trinity College, he hurriedly stops at the hairdresser to get a haircut. Accidentally, he stumbles into Joyce and a certain feeling of déjà vu grips him tight.
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My Take on the Book
While Justin, who has crashed at his Brother Al’s place, cannot stop talking about it, he is certainly not the only one in this. On the same night, as Justin orders the finest Italian white wine and chokes on potato wedges, so does Joyce, but while she is still in Ireland. As the story unfolds, a sense of familiarity between the two begins to blossom. Rare conversations between the two suggest that love is in the air but most of it is clearly left to the reader to imagine and finish off the story in their heads. The end, sweet as honey suggests about the existence of a parallel world where everything, I repeat, everything sorts itself out in the end.
Traces of Memories
Cecelia Ahern won my heart in the year 2011 with PS I Love You. The concept of loving so hard, forming a bond so selfless had appealed the eighteen-year-old romantic self. Therefore, when I picked up the book this year, at a second hand online bookstore, with a slight glitch, the author’s name somehow toned down the apprehension brewing inside me.
Agreed that the force of action of these invisible forces paints a pretty picture to cherish but the concept of blood transfusion, knowing minute details about someone whom you have hardly met while you face crisis in your life is a bit too cheesy for my tastes. The antique road show where the male protagonist yells the name of his lover when he is not supposed to know her name in the first place was a bit hard to digest but ended up loving it anyway. Well, some things surely do not lose their charm with time.
With the coincidences, awkward silences, caught occasional glances, “Thank you for the memories” certainly qualifies as a hardcore chick-lit book. Blood transfusion, the part that laid the foundation of the story did not make any sense to me. With minor fits of laughter and parallel narration of two stories that intertwine beautifully for certain bits, this book does not turn out to be a disappointment if you do not think much about it.