Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern Review

"Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday, May 30, 2011. Yours sincerely, Life."
Lucy Silchester keeps receiving this appointment card and sweeping the envelope under the rug. Literally. Instead, she has busied herself with work (a job she doesn't love), helping out friends, fixing her car, feeding her cat, seeing her family, and devoting her time to their life dramas. But she's stuck in a rut and deluding everyone. Only Lucy knows the real truth.

Then one day life shows up at her door, in the form of a rather run-down man in an old suit, who is determined to bring about change. Life follows Lucy everywhere—the office, bars—meets her flabbergasted friends, and won't let Lucy off the hook. What she learns in the process is that some of the choices she's made, and stories she's told, aren't what they seem either. Now her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory . . . unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

My thoughts: I started the book with an open mind. First of all, there is British humor which is becoming astonishing more like American humor, although still more subtle. I like that. I found the writing style to be mostly easy and flowing. One reviewer complained about run on sentences but I found that it lent itself to the way Lucy thought which was without pause. She didn't have time for her life and certainly had no time for punctuation. 

The story is quite clever and nothing I would have dreamed of. Lucy is nearing her thirtieth birthday and her life is in shambles. Once upon a time she had a fabulous job, a beautiful boyfriend, and a huge flat. Not an apartment, mind you. A flat. British colloquialisms used yet nothing we American readers haven't heard. I've read other British books and been flabbergasted by colloquialism meaning. This one is written in American style so there are no errors in interpretation. So 

Back to Lucy, today she lives in a tiny apartment with an illegal cat. She hates her job which is writing descriptions for appliances in four different languages including Spanish except that she lied about the Spanish and employs someone on the side to write that part for her. And she's single and still mourning the loss of her last relationship with Blake who is now traveling the world and making a weekly television show. This is where Life enters. And this is where I found myself drawn in. Life is a man of unknown age. He is rumpled and unkempt. Life is a personification of Lucy's life which she hasn't paid attention to in three years. Perhaps more. Life has been tasked with fixing Lucy's life and that is all he does.

What I most enjoyed about the story was the relationships between Lucy and Life, Lucy and her brother, and Lucy and her mother. I liked the developing relationship between Lucy and Don but the best was Lucy, Life, and Blake. Particularly when Life gets his first good look at Blake. I actually laughed out loud. Well written scene that played out in my mind's eye. Life is very funny.

Inevitably, Life makes Lucy accountable which makes her life a little more messy. On the other hand, when Lucy stops believing her own lies and telling her lies, Life and her own life clarify themselves. When Lucy takes the time to really make a decision about what she wants in her life, the story comes to a natural conclusion and I was sorry to see the personification of her life change. Loved his rashes, pimples, "I hate you!" and all the other foibles that were very easy to watch in my head. I thought the neighbor's belief in her own story was an interesting extension.

Overall, I liked the book. It was good entertainment. Not life changing (for me) but I know I like Cecelia Ahern and the way her mind creates a new idea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you enjoyed the time you spent with Lucy. Thanks for being a part of the tour!