Come inside my world where all I do is read and read lots and lots of romance..............................
Sunday, 25 February 2007
'Where Rainbows End' by Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern, daughter of our prime minister, shot to fame here in Ireland after signing a huge book deal at the age of only twenty-one. Wanting to see what all the fuss was about I borrowed her debut novel ‘PS, I Love You’ from a friend and I loved it. So as soon as ‘Where Rainbows End’ hit the shelves I rushed out to buy it.
This book focuses on the intertwining lives of Alex and Rosie, from their childhood in Dublin to their adult lives. Best friends, they stick with each other through thick and thin, knowing somewhere in their hearts that they are each other’s soul mate. Misunderstandings, bad luck and troublesome circumstances keep them apart until finally they are presented with the ultimate opportunity to be together again.
Cecelia Ahern proved in ‘PS, I Love You’ that she has an understanding of life beyond her years. She proves this ability yet again in ‘Where Rainbows End’. This book deals with all sorts of life’s trials and tribulations including young motherhood, marriage, adultery and grief. Rosie becomes pregnant at a young age and her struggle as a young mother are well-documented in this book. She has to make so many sacrifices for her daughter Katie, career-wise and in her personal life too. While Rosie has to stay in Dublin to raise Katie, Alex marries Sally in Boston. And then Rosie marries Greg. Neither marriage is beneficial to say the least and both end eventually . The various themes in this ’Where Rainbows End’ makes it well worth a read.
I loved the character of Rosie in this novel. She is an ordinary girl leading an ordinary contemporary life who is easy to click with. Her personality is lovely, she is witty, kind and responsible. She doesn’t deserve the bad luck which destiny throws at her. I was with her when baby Katie was born, felt her pain when Alex married, was so angry on her behalf when Greg cheated on her. I was emotionally involved in this book because of Rosie.
I didn’t click with Alex to the same extent. I think this is always the case in women’s fiction. We tend to empathise with the woman rather than the man. But that said, I really did like his character. He makes some stupid mistakes like marrying Sally. But his unwavering love of Rosie made me fall in love with him, his devotion to her and Katie made me want to cry at certain points in the novel, it was so touching.
And because this novel spans over the greater part of their lives we really get to see Alex and Rosie grow and mature into two wonderful, strong people. At the end of the book I wanted to stand up and applaud them for being the people they had become. This I think is a huge achievement on Ahern’s part and it really shows her skill as an author.
The author does a fabulous job in portraying the relationship through the years. Nearing the end of ‘Where Rainbows End’ I was growing desperate to see Rosie and Alex together. But although this book follows the love between Alex and Rosie, it is not a romance. This is chicklit, chicklit at its very best. This novel is about the characters’ growth, their journey of self-discovery. Alex and Rosie’s magical connection makes you feel the strong love between them, but there is no ‘romance’ in this novel.
There were a few down-points for me in ‘Where Rainbows End’. Nothing too serious, but enough to make me roll my eyes in frustration. This book is narrated completely through the use of emails, letters, instant messages etc. This is not my favourite way of reading a novel. But I was still able to enjoy it. Ahern manages this style just as well as Meg Cabot who uses it on a regular basis. But this book is a long book, and towards the end the constant emails and letters began to irritate me and even Ahern’s witty and clever style couldn’t keep me from gritting my teeth.
Because of the emails and letters I wasn’t able to get a feel for the setting. A sense of time and place is something I look for in novels. But I know a lot of other people wouldn’t care so I wouldn’t take that criticism too seriously.
Although I love the ‘almost but not quite’ incidents in books, there were too many in ‘Where Rainbows End’. Too many misunderstandings, too many instances of destiny interrupting Alex and Rosie’s lives. I was emotionally exhausted when I finished this book. It wasn’t what I would call a relaxing read.
Overall I enjoyed ‘Where Rainbows End’ and would recommend it to any of my friends. Not once did I want to close it. So if you’re looking for a good women’s contemporary fiction read, go pick this up here.