To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell is a romantic comedy novel. I haven’t read any other works by Jill Mansell before so I started this book without any preconceptions. The story follows Ellie Kendall, she loses her husband suddenly and tragically. She tries to pick up the pieces and move on with her life.
Ellie is young and enjoying her life with her husband Jamie. Both of them have such a cute relationship, but tragically Jamie dies in a car accident. The story takes a leap after this of around a year, and we see Ellie trying to live her life without Jamie. This part is really heartbreaking because it’s difficult to see her struggle, but at the same time, it is understandable. Ellie still imagines Jamie being around and having conversations with him.
Ellie with the help of her father-in-law moves into a new flat and is offered a new assistant job with Zach McLaren. We see the new chapter of her life begin. She meets new people, makes new friends, and is trying to move on. Roo is Ellie’s neighbor, and they quickly hit off. Roo has her own subplot in the story and is an important secondary character along with Todd. He is Jamie’s best friend who feels guilty for surviving the accident when Jamie doesn’t.
Zach McLaren is Ellie’s boss, and he seems to be taken with her from the start. He is cute and respectful to her, and I liked the way their relationship develops. The story is light-hearted, but it deals with some heavy themes of grief, and, loss even undying love. Ellie’s journey is portrayed realistically, and it all happens in a very organic way. There is nothing too dramatic or sudden; it’s a slow process of recovery. Even Ellie’s relationship with Zach has a slow build-up, and when, they come together in the end, it is satisfying. Although, I would have loved to see more of Zach and Ellie together.
The characters of the story mainly, Ellie and Zach, but also, Roo, Todd, and Ellie’s father-in-law Tom are well-developed characters. They add so much gravity to the story, and you care about them. Roo’s subplot did seem stretched by the end, but it was pretty good. The story tugs at our heartstrings. It is funny, heart-warming, and sad. Jill Mansell has created a beautiful story with wonderful characters.
The story was paced nicely, and I really wanted to know what happens with the characters. I finished reading this book in a couple of days. With To the Moon and Back, you go on this rollercoaster of a journey filled with romance, relationships, and grief.
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