Saturday, January 10, 2009

If You Could See Me Now

I first discovered Cecilia Ahern quite my accident. Her debut novel, PS, I love you, came to me at just the right time. I happened across it in a bookstore and when I read it, it spoke to me and comforted me in a time of need (my cousin had just passed away quite unexpectedly).

I've since reread PS, I love you and read Ahern's second novel Love, Rosie (also published under the titles Rosie Dunn and Where Rainbows End). I didn't find Love, Rosie particularly compelling, which left me wondering whether Ahern would be a one-off author for me, but I kept her other books on my wishlist just in case.

This one arrived in a late birthday package yesterday. I just finished it, though I have to admit that I almost gave up on the first few pages.

If You Could See Me Now* by Cecilia Ahern

If You Could See Me Now is the story of Elizabeth Egan, a woman in her thirties who is struggling with her life despite the facade of perfection she displays for the world, and an imaginary friend named Ivan who comes into her life through her adopted son Luke.

The concept is preposterous, but it does provide a unique twist to a pretty pedestrian subject. Ahern's Elizabeth is sympathetic and while some readers may not be able to relate to her problems in particular, they will be able to relate to her general feeling of being acutely responsible and overwhelmed.

The heart-warming If You Could See Me Now is a quick and read. What I liked best about the novel is Ahern's vision of imaginary friends and their roles in the world.

* This novel has also been published under the title A Silver Lining. Unnecessary re-naming of novels is one of my pet-peeves.

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