Before I get on with the dish, let me just remind you to enter the contest for a chance to win one of two signed copies of CRAZY IN LOVE by Lani Diane Rich. The contest winners will be announced when I post my dish of the book on Friday. So scroll down to the next post to enter or click here. And now without further ado...
IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW by Cecelia Ahern
Everything in Elizabeth Egan's life has its place. Order and precision keep life under control - and keep Elizabeth's heart safe from dwelling on past hurts. Her role as a reluctant mother to her six-year-old nephew leaves little room for error - or any fun. Until the day Ivan comes into their lives. The mysterious Ivan in carefree, spontaneous, and always looking for adventure - all Elizabeth is not. But just when Elizabeth begins to trust him, she learns that Ivan isn't at all who she thought he was.
Playful and at times intensely moving, this is a novel about how seeing isn't always believing. Full of Ceclia Ahern's trademark warmth and poignancy, IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW is a story of enormous heart - and just a little bit of magic.
As far as the BCC goes, I really think it would have been better to cut out the entire last paragraph. That's nice and all that the pubs think this such a wonderful book but I would probably take that last paragraph better had it been a quote of some kind. I don't know, something about that just troubles me.
I debated long and hard about buying this book. I must have picked it up a million times over the course of a few weeks and put it back down. I kept thinking I had read P.S. I LOVE YOU and was disappointed, and didn't want to chance the same author again. I still can't say if I have indeed read the P.S. , but I can say that after reading this one, I will give the author another read.
IYCSMN is the story of Elizabeth Egan, a woman raising her nephew, dealing with an alcoholic sister, a distant father, the memory of a mother that abandoned her, and disappointments in love. Elizabeth needs order in her life. Everything has a place and each place is always cleaned to a shine. Never really getting the chance to be a child herself, Elizabeth is at a loss as how to handle her nephew Luke. So when the day comes that Luke comes home with an imaginary friend Ivan, Elizabeth finds herself irritated and scared. Irritated because she wants to keep Luke's feet planted firmly on the ground and scared because she feels that the imaginary friend may be the first step in Luke becoming like his mother and grandmother.
But, with the appearance of Luke's friend Ivan, strange things start happening in Elizabeth's life as well. Chairs spin of their own accord, noises coming from her couch, and the feeling that she's being watched.
Ivan doesn't understand it. Elizabeth can sense him. He's used to kids seeing him, that's all part of the job. But, adults? That can't be right. And when Elizabeth actually sees Ivan, things become even more confusing. Is he there to be Luke's friend or Elizabeth's.
I've blogged before about my own children and their imaginary friends. How I sometimes wonder if they are indeed real and this book, much like the movie DROP DEAD FRED, just serves to increase that curiosity.
IYCSMN really is a touching story like the BCC suggests. Written mainly in Third, Ahern does give Ivan First POV at times, and it really adds a playful touch. I enjoyed watching Elizabeth learn to laugh and I enjoyed watching the playful Ivan (who loves to speak backwards and every new thing is his favorite) get a dose of growing up as well.
Though the book was a tad hard to get into, with a lot of sitting and thinking info dump at the beginning, I soon found myself turning page after page without any irritation. If you're in need of a fun yet surprisingly touching and insightful book that will leave you at The End with a smile, I definitely recommend picking this one up.