I have read a few of Cecelia Ahern’s books by now and enjoyed reading them; the most recent one being If You Could See Me Now. It was easy to pick Thanks for the Memories. The story focuses on two individuals, Joyce and Justin, who seem to share the same thoughts, memories, instincts, and interests. The story is set in Dublin.
Joyce Conway has suffered tragedy lately. After losing her baby and her marriage falling apart, she has a major accident that requires a blood transfusion. It is after the accident that things take a weird turn. She knows languages she hasn’t learned, memories that are not hers, and remembers places she has never seen. Joyce sets out to find the guy who seems to appear in her thoughts and wants to connect with him. Also, Joyce moved in with her father after separating from her husband. I just loved how their relationship is written. It is realistic, fun, and heartwarming.
Justin Hitchcock is a divorced American who is in Dublin as a guest lecturer. He is somewhat persuaded to donate blood. Later, he wants to know who is the recipient and wants to find her. All the while feeling an attachment towards a lady he kept seeing. This is when their lives really start to intertwine. The characters are going through a tough time in their personal life and this incident, in a way gives them direction. The story focuses on these two the narration shifts between them with a thought which is great given the concept. It shows how similar they are. The story is sentimental and dramatic in a good way.
The ideas of deja-vu, deja visite, and deja senti are discussed in the novel. It is philosophical but it is also something that is not entirely unrealistic. A sense of familiarity and experience is underlying throughout the story. Are these coincidences or destiny? Joyce and Justin keep bumping into each other in almost vague situations. I know the author wanted us to root for Justin and Joyce’s love story which does happen but it doesn’t take center stage exactly. All the minor characters add to the story and everything seems to have a purpose.
I like how Cecelia Ahern blends reality, fiction, and fantasy in her works. Though, this novel is more on the magical realism side than fantasy. The story is sentimental, dramatic, and slightly weird in its concept. In the beginning, it took some time to get used to the parallelisms and shift in perspectives but it ended up enhancing the overall story. I finished the book in a couple of days once I started because I wanted to know how it all adds up in the end. I enjoyed reading Thanks for the Memories.
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