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Thanks for the Memories - Cecelia Ahern

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Author: Cecelia Ahern / Genre: Fiction

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      19.08.2013 23:31
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      a good read for those who dont know how the body works...

      If your like me and was drawn into Cecelia Ahern's writing from the great success of p.s i love you then you would of picked this up next. Unfortunately it took way too long to get through this book as i put it down halfway through as it had caused me such a headache. I'm too much of a fan in biology, science and generally how the body works to get my mind round this. After an accident when a blood transfusion occurs, the woman suddenly shares the memories of the man the blood came from and is now stalking him. At this point i was literally arguing with the book, just yelling "no that's not possible! Our memories stored in our synapses not our blood!" So it was here i put it down. It wasn't until last month I saw it sitting at the top of my 'unfinished books pile' and decided i might as well finish it, no matter how hard it was. I was surprised that from picking it up it only took me three days to get through it, it became easier to read and more of a romance story instead of a ridiculous myth about biology (even though there was still a few points that tested my patience). It was a good read once i could ignore how not possible it was, yes i know its fiction, but there is only so far i can push myself. The best part I believe was the ending, and no that not just because it ended, but because it had your typical love story happy ending and I just cant get enough of those. Unfortunately this book has made me a little wary of picking up another book of hers, maybe on day ill try again.

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        06.02.2012 23:50
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        A good read although a little frustrating at times

        This is the 5th novel by Irish author Cecelia Ahern. Ahern is one of my favourite authors, however that being said conpared to some of her other novels, especially Ps I love you, I feel this one falls a little short.

        The book is split between the points of view of the two main characters, Joyce Conway and Justin Hitchcock. It is also split into parts, which are, one month earlier, present day and one month in the future.

        Joyce suffers an accident at the beginning of the book which results in her losing her unborn child. While in hospital Joyce receives a blood transfusion. After leaving hospital she moves in with her father due to the breakdown of her marriage.

        Justin is a lecturer who travels from London to Dublin to give a lecture. While in Dublin he donates blood to impress an attractive doctor. He is divorced , lonely and restless.

        Joyce begins to have a sense of deja vu, she eats meat when she is veggie, knows facts she never knew before and starts to dream of a young girl she has never even met. We later discover the little girl is connected to Justin. Joyce begins to realise her memories are not her own but are those of someone else. Justin also starts to feel a connection but is unsure as to why. There are many chance meetings and passes by but it takes a while for Joyce and Justin to meet. The book follows both characters' journey into what is happening between them, however it gets a little frustrating as we as the reader seem to know a lot more than they do alot of the time.

        I'm not sure how much I liked the book over all, there were parts I loved and times I also shouted at the book. Compared to other novels by Ahern it feel a little short for me. Thats not to say its not a great piece of writting because it is, just not up to her usual standred. All that being said I was still hooked to the book from the get go. In the prologue before we have met any of the characters, it is hinted that a woman is losing her child. As a mother myself it was heartbreaking to read and drew me in. I was dying to know how things turned out.

        I enjoyed watching Joyce's character build herself back up again and get her life back on track. This involved a lot of wonderful moments between Joyce and her father. It was this relationship and the character of Joyce's father that really held my intrest in the book throughout. I found the main plot/ relationship between Justin and Joyce a little boring. There was a lot of chasing around and waiting. I much prefered all the little sub relationships within the book i.e Joyce and her friends.

        The book is also filled with lots of facts i.e art facts and language phrases. Some may enjoy this but I felt there were too many and made the book almost too heavy, and took away from the main story. However this did show just how much research the author had done.

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        30.08.2010 23:14
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        ---

        Cecilia Ahern is well known for her multi-selling book PS I love you, and I have not read the book but have seen the film so thought I should read some of her other books. Because I already knew the storyline I didn't read PS I love you. Also I was looking for something to read my an author I have not read.


        The beginning of the book is a little strange and at first I was very confused as to what the author was talking about. The story is based on the lives of two people who form an unusual fairytale connection. Joyce is a recently divorced real estate agent who has also just lost her baby that took years to conceive. She moves in with her dad when she starts to know things that she shouldn't. She can speak Latin and Italian, she knows so much about history and architecture. She then dreams about a young blonde girl and things become strange. Justin is an American living in London and working in Dublin so he can be near his daughter. He is divorced and afraid of needles but a attractive doctor gets him to donate blood.


        I was apprehensive about the plot at first as it seemed to be more complicated than it needed to be. The complicated plot didn't really make the book any better but it seemed to slow it down.

        The close encounters that the two leads had many times was frustrating and captivating at the same time. You really do want the two to meet but one of them always seems to be looking the other way. Joyce's father is my favourite character as he's funny and likeable. There is a part in the book when they are going on a plane to London and her father refuses to take his shoes, belt and cap off at security. When taken into the interrogation room it turns out that he didn't know that they would be returned to him, he thought they keep them.


        I did like the magical aspect of the book and the serious message about the importance of people to give blood. It really can save lives of so many and it requires very little.


        Even thought its a little confusing in the beginning I highly recommend this book. I shall be reading more of Ahern's book.

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          08.07.2010 18:51
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          Worth a read but I'd recommend borrowing it as oppose to buying it

          Before this book I had already read Cecilia Ahern's 'P.S. I Love You' and loved it, but then I tried to read 'A Place Called Here' and couldn't get into the story at all, so when I was lent this I wasn't really sure what to expect.

          The story is a blend of romance and a bit of fantasy. It's certainly original. I read the first few chapters and struggled to get into the story, so left the book for a few weeks. But then I tried to read it again, and this time I did enjoy it.

          Plot:
          The story is centred around a woman who receives a blood donation following a miscarriage from a man very reluctant to give blood in the first place. Along with the blood the character receives unexpected traits and memories, and her behaviour suddenly changes. The rest of the book then follows this lady as she tries to understand what has happened and of course begins to fall in love.

          Cecilia Ahern's a good author, and comes up with creative plots making it a good and memorable read. It's been a good year since I read the book and I can still remember it well.

          It's definately for chick flick fans, but less so for those who prefer storylines that could really happen. I enjoyed this book, but it certainly isn't nearly in the same league as PS I Love You.

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            15.04.2010 14:40
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            A woman recovers from a miscarriage; a man donates blood.

            I'd like to say that Cecelia Ahern is a brilliant author who deserves all her success, but after reading one of her books it seems to me that having a Prime Minister for a dad may have helped her out just a little bit.

            The story centres on a 33-year-old woman named Joyce, who falls down a flight of stairs at the beginning of the book and loses her baby. As a result of this, directly or indirectly, she splits up with her partner and moves back in with her 75-year-old father while she recovers.

            At the same time a man named Justin has divorced from his wife and is living between London and Dublin. He lectures on art in Dublin but lives in London to be near his daughter. One day he walks into the lecture theatre where he's about to teach and is accosted by an attractive woman who's just given a talk on blood donation. She convinces him to give blood, despite his phobia of needles.

            Strange things begin to happen to Joyce as she finds she has new knowledge and skills that she didn't possess before. Then there are the strange dreams...

            Meanwhile Justin, entirely realistically, raves on for page after page about wanting to know whose life he may have saved by donating blood. As you do.

            I couldn't help comparing this to something by Marian Keyes, since both authors hail from Ireland, both write so-called 'chick-lit' and both strive to be funny and entertaining. The difference is that Marian Keyes actually is witty and entertaining, with seemingly very little effort, whereas Cecelia Ahern does her best (bless her) but her writing style just feels contrived, as did this plot.

            The characterisation was probably the best feature of the whole story, although even then only the two main characters, as well as Joyce's father, were written to any reasonable degree. Any peripheral characters- friends, family members, ex-lovers- were treated as exactly that, and were never given any personality of their own. Their entire existence appeared to be as mindless drones who were expected to react and comment on what the protagonists had to say. In fact, even the protagonists were so underdeveloped that I had to take the book back off the shelf in order to check what their names were. It's never a good sign when you finish a book and have forgotten the characters names 24 hours later.

            Aspects of the plot were reasonable- Ahern makes a decent attempt at relating people's emotions and trying to tackle difficult issues- here, the issue being that of miscarriage. I have no personal experience of this, so find it hard to comment on how well she describes what Joyce is going through, but I have to give her some credit- at the back of the book is a section of reader questions and the author's answers, and one woman does say that Ahern wrote exactly what she was feeling after she experienced a miscarriage herself.

            The problem with the plot is that the main thread, and the one thing Ahern has to fall back on if all else goes horribly wrong, is not just full of holes, but may as well be one, huge, gaping hole into which all decent aspects of the plot fall. She really ought to have thought through the premise much more carefully before starting to write, as she's tried to write something realistic, that people can relate to, but the premise is so flimsy that it's hard to take anything about the story seriously.

            The plot dawdles lazily to a wholly predictable and uninspiring conclusion, taking several unnecessary detours along the way, giving the impression that perhaps Ahern got bored of writing and was struggling to reach her assigned number of pages. In actual fact, judging by the relevance or otherwise of most of what is written, she could probably have cut the whole book down to a total of 50 or so pages.

            I have to say, in conclusion, that despite how much I disliked 'Thanks for the Memories,' others may enjoy it. It's certainly an easy read, and might be something relaxing to read on the beach. It's just that I would recommend if you walk into a bookshop and see this sitting alongside a Marian Keyes, just think about how hard you worked to earn those pounds in your pocket, and choose the better of the two.

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              01.02.2010 17:13
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              Another brilliant read from Cecelia Ahern

              After leaving hospital after a terrible accident and with her marriage in tatters, Joyce Conway moves in with her elderly father. But when she suddenly seems to know things she shouldn't and when she dreams about places and things she's never seen, Joyce begins to worry. At first, she thinks the stress and upset of her troubles may be the cause, but when the strong feeling of déjà vu gets stronger, Joyce realises it's just too strange to be stress.

              Meanwhile, Justin Hitchcock, who has recently got divorced and moved to the UK, is somehow convinced into giving blood by a very attractive doctor. Flying to Dublin from London every few days and sharing his time between giving lectures and seeing his daughter, makes Justin's life pretty complicated, but the presence of a stranger who he thinks he knows just makes his life even more difficult.

              ~ My opinion ~
              From the very beginning of the book, I immediately loved Joyce not only because I felt so sorry for her for losing her baby and the breakdown of her marriage, but also because she seemed like a genuinely nice person. Despite her own problems, she still manages to give a helping hand to her elderly father and smile at the people around her who have children of their own. I kind of felt connected to Joyce in some way because the strange things that started happening to her seemed just as weird to her as they did to me when I was reading about them.

              As soon as Joyce and Justin meet for the first time there is an instant connection and a strange bond and they keep bumping into each other or just being connected somehow throughout the book. It's very annoying that they don't actually meet until near the end of the book though as I just kept wishing that they'd actually see and talk to each other properly rather than just seeing one another from a distance.

              At first I did think it was slightly weird and very unrealistic how the two could be connected without actually knowing each at all, but as the story went on, and as I became more and more intrigued, the reasons behind the familiarity became clear and it all started to make some sense. The book jumps between the two main characters' points of view so we get an insight into both of the weird experiences that they are having and this also means that we understand Joyce's dreams and feelings a lot more.

              There were plenty of laughs throughout as well whether it was from Joyce's dad being a typical old man or from the strangeness of Joyce and Justin's meetings.

              This was such a lovely read, not only because of the almost magical and fairytale like story but because Cecelia Ahern writes in a way that just makes you unable to put the book down. She actually made me thoroughly look forward to my commute to and from work everyday and that's a very hard thing to do!

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                01.11.2009 21:28
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                fairytail for women!

                after i watched the film P S i love you a friend recommended her other books.
                I started with this one. i often find it difficult to get into books and never end up finishing them.
                However i was drawn straight into this one. Set mostly in Dublin, two people cross paths and share something wonderful together. The book is divided into chapters for each of the two characters which allows them to eventually cross over lives towards the end.
                As i had just been to dublin, as she was describing places where the charatchers had been brought my trip back to me.
                This booked made me laugh and cry, Ahern is a brilliant author who manages to capture the reader with emotions. She creats an adult fairy tail which allows the reader to feel part of the story.
                A great read, would recommend this to all my female friends.

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                  12.09.2009 23:29
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                  A romance with a twist

                  Thanks for the memories by Cecelia Ahern is set in Ireland. The main character, Joyce Conway has a terrible accident that lands her in hospital, when she leaves hospital to live with her Dad her life and marriage are in pieces. All this time a strong sense of déjà vu is over whelming her and she can't understand why. Justin Hitchcock is a divorced lonely man who arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art. He meets an attractive doctor who convinces him to donate blood, it is the first thing he has done with all his heart in a long time...

                  I was completely hooked by this book when I read it. The idea of knowing someone that you have never met because you have received their blood is unbelievable and yet works brilliantly in the story line. As a true romantic this story captures the romance between these two characters brilliantly and consistently leaves you wanting more. My only complaint about this book is that it finished too soon. That being said the book is a reasonable length, it doesn't take too long to read but it can't be read within two hours (which I consider a short book). I would highly recommend this book.

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                  11.09.2009 12:41
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                  A good read.

                  I was very impressed by Cecelia Ahern's book P.S I love you. However, since then I havent read any of her books which match up to this (I havent read The Gift). This was definately a good book but no where near as good as P.S. I love you.

                  I feel since her book Where Rainbows End she has started to move more towards fantasy books and at first I wasnt to sure but my mind changed when I read this one.

                  The book is starts with Joyce the main character recovering from a miscarriage and decding to split with her husband. Her life couldnt get much worse. The story follows he rebuilding her life but during this she starts to have memories and knowledge of things she never known or seen before. It follows Jolyce in the mystery of figuring out why this is happening.

                  This book is a great holiday read, it made be sad it made me laugh and it was magical, with a conclusion thats unbelievable but brilliantly written. Cecelia Ahern has a brilliant imaginantion and a fantastic ability to put that imagination into words. I was very impressed by the book and although its not that sort of book I read, I enjoyed it none-the-less.

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                    12.07.2009 14:50
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                    Another good read, but I don't think Cecelia Ahern's best

                    After reading 'Where Rainbows End' by Cecelia Ahern, and absolutely loving it, I was keen to read her novel 'Thanks for the memories' which I had bought at the same time.

                    ~The Story~

                    Justin Hitchcock is an expert on art and architecture. He's an American living in London, but on a trip to Dublin where he visits once a month to give lectures, he is confronted by an attractive young doctor, who is encouraging the students to donate blood. Justin is terrified of needles, but she is the first woman he has been attracted to since his divorce and so reluctantly agrees. He is keen to know who will receive his blood, but as the doctor explains, there is no way that a donor can trace where it has gone.

                    Joyce Conway wakes up in hospital and is told she has had a huge blood transfusion after losing her unborn child. She doesn't think too much about this, the pain of losing the child she had wanted for six long years numbing her thoughts. In the days that follow though, something strange starts happening to her. She realises her tastes in food and music have changed drastically. She suddenly knows the history of the buildings around her, and can speak Italian and Latin. She also dreams about a little blonde girl and a man with green feet every night. It's almost as though she has someone else's memories...

                    After a strangely coincidental meeting at a hairdressers, both Joyce and Justin get a strange feeling that they somehow know each other. It nags at them both, as they start seeing each other around. They feel they have a connection, but they can't quite figure out what it is....

                    ~What I thought~

                    The idea behind this novel seemed very interesting to me. I don't think I was really expecting a very realistic story, as the idea was perhaps a little far fetched, but still I was looking forward to finding out where the story would go.

                    The book starts with Joyce lying at the bottom of the stairs slipping in and out of consciousness. I think this dramatic start hooked me right in from the beginning. I didn't even know the character at this point, but I already wanted her to be alright and find out if she was going to be OK.

                    I did really like the character of Joyce, she seemed very genuine, down to earth and just generally likeable. I thought the scenes after she lost her baby and felt like her whole world was collapsing were very well written and quite emotional.

                    Justin in contrast, was a character I didn't really 'get'. He didn't come across as being particularly likeable to me, and seemed almost constantly grumpy or stressed out, which did nothing to make me like him.

                    By far my favourite character in this novel, was Joyce's dad, who she ends up moving in with. Aged 75, and having never ventured too far from the Irish village he has lived in all his life, he was written perfectly and was a character I'd love to know if he was real. I felt he was perhaps the most well written character, as he reminded me of so many people, and his confusion at dealing with the modern world was both humorous and endearing.

                    Although I thought the plotline was a great idea for a novel, to be honest in theory I am not sure if it worked. For a start, I did not understand if Joyce and Justin were supposed to like each other romantically, or if their attraction was merely due to the strange goings on following the blood transfusion. I also couldn't help wondering where the story was going as I read, and was slightly disappointed in the ending, as I thought it seemed a little rushed. I don't know what I was expecting really, perhaps some huge dramatic twist, that unfortunately never materialised. It almost felt to me, that the author had had this great idea with the plotline and come up with some fantastic characters, but then didn't quite know where to take the story.

                    Although the book did not have the ending I was expecting, I did still enjoy it a great deal, and would read it again. As well as the emotional early scenes with Joyce, I also found myself laughing out loud at some of the crazy situations that Joyce and her father got into - the airport scene especially had me in stitches.

                    I often measure how good a book is by how long it took me to read it. I have a very short attention span and it can often take a month for me to get through a novel. This one took me two days, which I think is a testament to Ahern's easy to read writing style, and overall, I do still think it was a good book, which is why I am going to give it four stars, although perhaps if we were allowed half stars, I might suggest 3.5 was more appropriate!

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                      26.05.2009 13:59

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                      You have to believe the unbelieveable, but this is a warm feeling book

                      I see Cecelia Aherne as a bit of a wanna be fairy godmother. She writes fairy tales for grown up people and you genuinely believe she wants this sort of thing to happen in real life. So if a bit of far fetched soft magic and a happy ending is your sort of thing then this book is for you. The story follows the same format that I have seen in ceclia aherns other stories, whereby at the start a bad event happens. The lady heroine of our story breaks free from an unhappy marriage foloowing a miscarriage of a longed for baby. She has to sell the family home and is looked after by her elderly father. Her father has a lot of quirky ways and his age counts against him, however this adds to the heart warmingness of the book as the relationship is forged between daughter and father than helps them both out. In her miscarriage she gets a blood transfusion. At this point in the story, two stories run in parallel, where the male hero of the book is talked into donating blood ( in true fairy tale style he is also down on his luck). The blood transfusion causes the two's lives to connect and start sharing each others memories, they are drawn acorss countries to meet each other, and have a true happy ending!

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                      24.03.2009 18:34
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                      fantastic read

                      After reading numerous crime books, I decided to venture back into the world of chic lit with Thanks for the Memories and I can truely say, I wasn't disappointed.

                      Ahern a wide range of topics in 489 pages from the loss of a child, the break up of a marriage, being a father to a teenager, entering the dating game after a divorce and moving back with your parents after 10 years of marriage.

                      It also gets the brain cells thinking, can the recipient of a blood transfusion or even a transplant notice a small changes in their personalility and behaviour? Such as liking new foods, being fluent in a foreign language over night as demonstrated by Joyce.

                      My favourite section of the book was the Viking Bus. During this scene I felt as if I was participating in the Viking roars, watching the love between a father and daughter grow stronger and Justin realise who the woman in the red coat is.

                      A real page turner that will enable you to escape the normality of day to day living.

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                      22.03.2009 20:04
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                      Thanks for the Memories. A great summer read.

                      I've always loved Cecelia Ahern books, starting with PS I love you, through her newer books, Where Rainbows End, A place called Here, If you could see me now, The Gift, and now this book. "Thanks for the memories".

                      Ahern has a certain thing about her books, the storyline is always something on the verge of reality, but just real enough to be believeable. At least the last 4 books have been like this. And Thanks for the Memories is no different.

                      When i read the blurb on the back of the book, I must admit I wasn't that excited, but the book had already been bought for me, and so hey why not.
                      And I must say I have been pleasently surprised.

                      THE PLOT:
                      When Joyce Conways world falls apart, losing her unborn child all because of her rush to get down the stairs to answer the telephone, she is devastated, and when her marriage to Conor breaks up her only choice is to move back in with her elderly forgetful father, and avoid all conversation with any form of person.

                      She is reminded everyday of her fall down the stairs resulting in a blood transfusion and the loss of her child, but as well as that, she has a strong sense of Deja Vu, remembering facts she'd never known before, craving meat even though she was a vegetarian, seeing places and faces in her mind which were never there before.

                      Meanwhile, Justin Hitchcock has just given blood at the College where he teaches. Despite been terrified of needles, he had done it just to impress the nurse Sarah. But now, he keeps seeing a mysterious woman everywhere he goes. They keep bumping into each other in the street, turning up at the same events. Even though they've never properly spoken apart from the odd word in the Hairdressers one day, he feels he knows her.

                      Joyce soon comes to realise the man she keeps seeing, his family she keeps bumping into and calling by accident, is the man whose memories she is having in her sleep, the thoughts she is thinking all the time.

                      Although her friends and family think she is crazy, Joyce knows Justins blood is inside her, and knows thats the reason she is having this crazy time.

                      In a gripping tale of falling in and out of love, and stretching the edges of reality, this book will have you hooked. You really will not be able to put it down.

                      I must admit, I found it very hard to get into at first, I didn't think it was going to be any good, I like "real" stories, which you can really relate you, but somehow you find yourself thinking this can really happen.

                      Its a very easy book to read, there is no complicated language, no complicated storylines, meaning its the prefect bedtime or holiday book!

                      I seriously recommend Thanks For the memories to anybody who has enjoyed Cecilia Ahern books before, or who likes a little magic in their lives!

                      Be open minded, and buy this book! It really is a trully magical story.

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                        09.03.2009 17:09
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                        Good read, makes you feel emotional

                        Thanks for the Memories, and a whole lot more.

                        I love Cecelia Ahern's books, PS. I love you, the Gift etc. I picked this up in WH Smith a week or so ago as I had just run out of anything to read.

                        This book focuses on the life of Joyce, poor Joyce ends up in hospital not remembering a lot except an awful fall she had at home and falling down the stairs. Joyce unfortunately loses her unborn baby in the fall, and is mourning the loss of a baby she has longed for.

                        Although this is a period in Joyce's life full of grief she does find herself somewhat distracted as she finds she has memories that she just can't place as her own. Joyce is from Dublin, but has memories of Paris.

                        There is also the reoccurring dream about a little blonde girl and a picnic in the park. Joyce also finds she now knows a lot more about architecture, history and art.

                        In the meantime Joyce's marriage breaks up and she calls time and moves back to live with her elderly father who is the only family she really has as her mother is dead and she is an only child.

                        Joyce's keeps seeing the same man around, first it was in the hairdressers where they both on impulse pulled up in different cabs to get their hair cut and now on the streets of Dublin too.

                        Justin is an American who has moved to London to be near his only daughter Bea. He works one day a month in Dublin at a college.

                        Justin keeps bumping in to Joyce, but little does Justin know Joyce seems to know his thoughts past and present. Joyce isn't a deluded stalker and Cecelia Ahern writes it so you can relate to Joyce and her predicament. Joyce feels a connection with Justin but doesn't know how.

                        It all falls in to place, Joyce received a blood transfusion after her fall and Justin gave blood in Dublin as part of the blood drive collection at the college he works.

                        Can Joyce convince Justin she isn't a nut bag stalker and in fact she knows something's he has thought and never told anyone??

                        Great read, I couldn't put it down.

                        This book is not very believable although it does still make for a great read, if this situation occured in real life (i mean the constant following and almost stalking) someone would be served with a restraining order.

                        This book could be perceived as a bit creepy but that's if you read to much in to, it is a lighthearted book, with a bit of everything, don't read too much in to the unrealistic bits they help make the book what it is, whether it would happen in real life or not.

                        Lastly I am not very good with blood anyway and have never donated (which is awful, everybody should try) but after reading this I will have to build my confidence up again as this has completely put me off, and although i know it's just a book and one that isn't very realistic, i googled blood/memories and you know there are doctors and scientists who believe it can happen with blood and organs!! Yikes!

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                          12.02.2009 20:49
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                          Memorable, touching and hilarious

                          I can't say I was ever compelled to read anything by Cecelia Ahern, mainly because none of the storylines appealed to me. However this one had been on my must-read list for a while as it sounded a bit different to some of the usual chick-lit and had a slightly magical/supernatural theme which I love.


                          ++PLOT++
                          Joyce Conway has a terrible accident which causes her to reassess her entire life. To make matters worse, as she recovers from the accident she starts to remember things she shouldn't. She keeps dreaming about a little girl with blonde hair and a man with green feet. She can speak Italian and Latin and she has become an expert on art and architecture.

                          Around the same time, Justin Hitchcock is guest lecturer at a Dublin college. He has moved from America to be closer to his daughter who had moved to London with his ex-wife and her new partner. Justin is still bitter from the divorce and is overly-protective of his daughter Bea. However while in Dublin he is persuaded to give blood, the first thing to come from his heart in a long time.

                          Joyce moves in with her elderly father in an attempt to re-establish herself and piece her life together. But at the same time she can't understand where all these bizarre memories are coming from and why she seems to recognise an American man that she had a chance encounter with at the hair salon.

                          The story follows both Justin and Joyce as they try to sort their lives out as well as deal with the overwhelming sense of deja vu they keep suffering from.

                          The plot is set at a nice pace and is very engaging. There are parts of it that are contrived and overly-coincidental but as the book is so engaging in itself its easy to see past that and I didn't find it a problem. The book deals with a lot of strong emotions but didn't make heavy reading and nor did it ever feel depressing to read. I think that the writer has handled some delicate issues with great skill. There are a few very humourous moments, mainly involving Joyce's elderly father.

                          The ending was neat and not too obvious, and tied things up neatly.


                          ++CHARACTERS++
                          The sections from Joyce's point of view are in first person and those from Justin's point of view are in third person so it was easy to determine which character we were with. They were both likeable in their own way but I found Joyce to be the more engaging of the two and I preferred the sections from her point of view.

                          Joyce has had a lot to deal with - not just the terrible accident that changed her life but she also lost her mother when she was in her early twenties and worries about her father who is becoming forgetful. There was one particular scene when she returned home from the hospital that was quite touching and there are a few other highly emotive moments in the story. I liked the fact she was written in first person point of view as it allowed me to identify closely with her and see exactly how she was coping with her pain.

                          I did wonder if this was why I preffered her to Justin as he was written in third person so I didn't feel I knew him so well. He was well-written though, and clearly had unresolved issues with his ex-wife that were holding him back in life.

                          Joyce's father is undoubtedly the star of the book. I could hear him and visualise him so clearly, some of the things he says are hilarious, especially his pre-occupation with Michael Aspel and his desperation to outshine Donal at their regular Monday Club meetings. I also found Doris, Justin's sister-in-law, really funny. Mainly because I imagined her to be just like Janice from the sit-com "Friends" - outrageous and over the top with her leopard print clothes, big hair and crazy notions.


                          ++MY VERDICT++
                          This book wasn't what I expected as I thought it would dwell more on the supernatural element of whether or not a person's traits can be passed on to someone else through a blood transfusion (there have been similar reports of such things happening). But it didn't focus too much on this, although I enjoyed it regardless. It focuses more on love and loss, and learning to let go and give happiness another chance. The story is a bit far fetched and as I said above, feels contrived in some parts but its easy to see past this once you get hooked on the story. This was a fun and light read and I would recommend it.

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                        • Product Details

                          Lose yourself in the magical new novel from Cecelia Ahern - the No.1 bestselling author of PS, I Love You 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. When she leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, Joyce moves back in with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of deja vu is overwhelming her and she can't figure out why! Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. 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. When Justin receives a basket of muffins with a note simply saying thank you,he is sure someone is playing a trick on him. But then a series of gifts begin to arrive. Intrigued and disturbed, Justin is determined to find out who is sending them. What he discovers will change his life forever.