Received: Purchased own copyRelease Date: October 26, 2009
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The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.
So anytime I see a book with the name Cecelia Ahern on it, I automatically pick it up and bring it home with me. Ever since randomly finding PS, I Love You in my library one day, Cecilia Ahern has become my favourite author, she has such a magical way of bringing me into her stories and the worlds she creates are always so magical. I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book, a girl who has found herself in the middle of the country with nothing to do after such a devastating event suddenly finds this gorgeous book that is locked. What she finds inside the pages of this book changes her life in a large way. Tamara is used to focusing on the now, she will fight to get what she wants right at that moment and doesn't think about how her future will be affected (I am completely the opposite, I always worry about my future... maybe a little too much). This book she finds really teaches her about looking to the future and thinking about how her actions will have an effect on that.
This book was a lot different from many of Ahern's other books, and it really surprised me. I had a lot of trouble getting into this book, the narrator (Tamara herself) was a very difficult character to connect with. She didn't have a care in the world, she was selfish and just obnoxious a lot of the time. There were actually a few times I was thinking of putting this book aside for another book, but I trudged through (mainly because it is a Cecelia Ahern book). But I will say I grew to understand Tamara as I followed her story, and then came to really wonder what would happen next in the book.
What really took me by surprise was the dark turn this story took, I'm used to Ahern's stories being somewhat on the lighter side and this story is definitely different from that. This story takes you for a ride, there are so many twists that I was completely taken aback by the end of the book, and I found that the story redeemed itself with everything that happens. I was really surprised at this book and I think Ahern actually made me think more about looking at how every little thing can affect the future.
I also have to mention one of the quotes at the end of the book that really made me go back and read it again: "I think that most people go into bookshops and have no idea what they want to buy. Somehow, the books sit there, almost magically willing people to pick them up. The right person for the right book. It's as though they already know who's life they need to be a part of, how they can make a difference, how they can teach a lesson, put a smile on a face at just the right time." (pg. 417-8)
I love how books become a character themselves in this quote and I completely agree with this, I think the book chooses the person and can really touch their lives. Even though this book wasn't one of my favourites of Cecelia Ahern's, it still solidifies my love of her as an author and I know I will continue picking up anything that she writes.