Book Review: “Thanks for the Memories” by Cecelia Ahern

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Is it just me or when you encounter a good book, you just want to look through the other works of that particular author? Because lately, I’ve been binge reading books published by Cecelia Ahern. I have grown quite fond of her unique writing style where she just incorporates fantasy to her chick-lits. This time, it is shown in her novel, “Thanks for the Memories” published in 2008.

Thanks for the Memories Plot Summary

Thanks for the Memories follows the story of two different people – Joyce and Justin, who happen to magically share the same thoughts, instincts, and memories after Joyce undergone a blood transfusion drawn from Justin during his visit in Ireland.

Joyce Conway was devastated when she lost her baby and her marriage fell apart. It is after the accident and recovery that a series of unusual things happen to her, such as speaking foreign languages she’s never learned, remembering places she’s never been, and recollecting memories she’s never had. Feeling a strong sense of déjà vu, Joyce finds out who appears in her reveries and tries to connect with him in any way possible.

Justin Hitchcock is a divorced American man who was persuaded to donate blood when he guest-lectured in a university in Dublin. Feeling heroic (kinda hypocritic, if you ask me) after donating blood, Justin is eager to know who the recipient is and wants to be thanked for saving a life. While doing so, he kept seeing a particular lady whom he felt has a great attachment with him. That’s when their lives started to intertwine.

Personal Review

I’ve read quite a few of Ahern’s books and some of them are serious, melodramatic, and purely sentimental. But Thanks for the Memories is a mix of everything – humor, pain, and imagination.

I commend how great the story was written. There’s this tendency to switch and change point of views in a single thought. One second it’s Joyce’s, the next is Justin’s. That shows how they become similar in ways. It didn’t just lean on one’s character. Reading the story felt like the focus is more on telling the lives of two people and how they become connected.

Following that, it also discusses a bit about déjà vu, déjà visite, and déjà senti. These senses of familiarity and experience are all throughout the story. How many times do we encounter this? Are they pure coincidences or destiny? All these possible connections and an entire lifetime to figure them out, that’s just wonderful and awesome.

The fantasy side of this isn’t really fiction at all, the genre is perhaps more of a magical realism. There’s this thing called, “cellular memory” where it was medically hypothesized that recipients may exhibit habits and personalities of the donor. However, it happens more to those who receive organs, rather than blood. Nevertheless, we know that nothing is impossible in a book.

I also liked the way it reflected building and fixing relationships. I must say, this is not a love story. It is absolutely filled with realizations done in an amusing way. There’s a father who does what a father does; a daughter, funny friends, and relatives who give advice; and even extra people in their lives who played important roles to begin the link between Joyce and Justin.

Overall, the plot is rare, charming, and delightful. I’ve seen dramas with this theme but for a book, it was told in a comprehensible way. I love the whole idea – the parallelism, entertainment, and the sentimental touch it brings. And like the other books of Ahern, it was open-ended, which is an interactive scheme that makes you finish the story the way you want it. Thanks for the Memories is a light, fun read, perfect for when you need a little bit of reverie in this world full of harsh reality. Take a break! 🙂

All smiles,

Donna, the daydreamer

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