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Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern
As first I read this book – entirely made up of letters, faxes, text messages, cards, notes, postcards, emails and simply all possible written communication – I was mesmerized by the author’s writing style and capability to make the reader relate.
I had watched the “P.S. I Love You” movie adaptation – directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler as the protagonists — not quite long ago and when my friend lent me this book written by the same author, merely upon reading Cecelia Ahern’s name on the cover I wanted to start reading instantly.
The protagonists of this story were also relatable, lovable souls: Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, best friends forever. The story follows their friendship (from when they were seven) as they grow up and their lives on the far corners of the world pan out. Alex and Rosie are very much in love and utterly oblivious (often I feel, intentionally) to the reciprocal nature of their emotions. This detail (a miscommunication of epic proportions) entwines their co-existence as they lack in serendipity and fate tries it’s hardest to keep them apart. Some would call it a generic story. Trust me, it is not really so generic. It will make you want to tear you hair out with frustration (Wait, that’s not such a good thing, is it?) because of how those two keep missing each chance they get to take a bold stand and it will make you laugh until you’re lying on your carpet with tears in your eyes and a stomach ache (and leave everyone staring at you of course) because of the jests galore. And it will do all this whilst keeping you wanting for more.
Although I cannot bring myself to tell you much of the story in this review for I personally abhor having anything at all revealed before I read a book, however this I shall state: depending on your particular feelings towards the genre, definitely worth a read.
To this day I shall agree that the way Ahern put all those letters and emails Rosie and Alex sent (brief, exchanges centering on a multitude of different supporting characters) and received was a most clever technique to keep a reader engaged far longer than they normally would have been. For me, personally, this way of writing was especially appreciated because it constantly reminded me of the letters I used to send to my best friend when my father was posted to the other end of the country, of how through those words our bond strengthened. It reminded me of how we grew together despite being so far apart. It reminded me of how I looked forward to each letter with remarkable excitement. Then, it also reminded me of my emailing pen pals. It reminded me of the relief one feels upon laying bare oneself to another soul in writing.
Writing, to me, is a much more suitable way of expression than speech. Some might consider that a fatal flaw, yes, nonetheless I feel, when I write I can conquer worlds. And for all these reasons I believe that the way Ahern put it (the story) was ingenious. Had she written it any other way, first person, third person, it just wouldn’t have had that charm.
Now as to the other elements of her writing style I found few enough flaws. So to state, the character development was not as well thought out as I would have liked. There was quite some repetition when jogging memories by reminiscing for example Alex and Rosie would always recall the Santa Watch, the birthday, the sleepover and not much of any other events from their childhood. There were some very wide gaps – rather lack of letters –where they weren’t needed; where they did not add to suspense or anything but served as mind-boggling. There were places where the reader would need closure and none was provided. I do not deny that the heart-wrenching, soul-ripping and body-crushing are all elements to make a good story however, too much of a good thing, you know?
Speaking more on closure I would talk of the ending: the dreaded climax and wrap-up all in one. Well, when first I read it, it took me all of one and a half day owing to having to eat and study a little. And as it ended, I was left confused. No, surely there had to be more. I mean, yes, the words at the end were perfect. However it was too abrupt and too many questions were left unanswered. And yet, I don’t think there was much more left to say because you see being a diehard Lord of The Rings fan – where half of a book was taken as an ending to the tale and tie up loose ends, nothing left unsaid or undone — I always tend to have too high of expectations from endings.
Book names always hold a great importance for me and so I wanted to devour this one as well. It is a complete paradox since the end of the rainbow is unreachable, hence all that frustration throughout. Also as Ireland being the set homeland, a common Irish legend asserts that a "pot of gold" is to be found at the end of a rainbow, for the person lucky enough to find it. This treasure is, however, guarded by a Leprechaun. So, Miss Ahern, I like the name.
In any case whatsoever, it is a book I loved reading – despite it making me want to rip my heart out – and when I would moan and complain to my best friend about every little sentence in it and he would say, “You’ve already read it, you already know what happens, why are you so upset? And why in the world are you even reading it again?”
My answer would be this: No matter how many times I read it, it will still resonate with me and hence make me feel so much. And Why am I reading it again when it tortures me so, when I cried so many times whilst reading? Well, although yes it did all that, it also made me laugh endlessly the way no other book did and bewitched me with all its beautiful words. And because it asked me rather fiercely: Why do we stop believing in ourselves? Why do we let facts and figures and anything but dreams rule our lives? So if I had a chance, I’d read it again because sometimes when the world tells you to stop chasing rainbows; chasing rainbows is exactly what you should do.