Cecelia Ahern's works to date have been built around far-fetched fiction, undying romance and happy-ever-afters, and her fifth novel 'Thanks for the Memories' brings us more of the same from the young Dublin writer.
This latest novel is set between Dublin and London, where our protagonists live. Dubliner Joyce finds herself completely at a loss when a freak accident causes her life to turn upside-down and forces her to make some tough decisions that she has been putting off for a while. Across the water in London, American-born art-lecturer Justin is still feeling bitter about his divorce when a chance meeting with a beautiful doctor restores his faith in his own ability to be selfless.
Meanwhile, back in Dublin... after Joyce leaves hospital she begins to feel like a different person completely, only natural after what she's been through, or so everyone tells her. But it's not just a feeling. She also seems to have gained a vast array of knowledge that she didn't possess before her accident, knowledge of things and places that she's never even come into contact with before. And a chance meeting with a stranger has left her with a funny feeling. Why does this handsome American man seem to turn up everywhere she is and should she turn detective to find out what's going on?
From here on in the romantic journey starts, carrying a slight element of mystery with it. Ahern employs her usual fantastical style here, opting for the far-fetched and dreamy throughout. It's a style that suits the writer as she manages to put a gloss on almost everything, even managing to make stalking (albeit low-grade) sound romantic.
'Thanks for the Memories' has Hollywood blockbuster written all over it. Far, far away from the world of reality, cluttered with responsibility and rules, Ahern's literary world is one of dreams, fantasy and twists of fate. And if you just want to abandon the real world for a while then this novel will certainly get you there.