Thursday, October 6, 2011

To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell

To the Moon and Back is the third book by Jill Mansell that I’ve read in the past year. Mansell has quickly become one of my new favorite women’s fiction, “chick-lit,” or however you would like to describe wonderful, well-written stories that keep you engrossed until the very end. Mansell’s style is unique as in each of the novels that I’ve read, she writes about a great cast of well-rounded characters. There may be one lead, but she is surrounded by great people with interesting stories of their own. I love it!

Ellie Kendall is happily married to Jamie, a “drop-dead gorgeous 28-year old male.” They have a wonderful relationship that abruptly ends when Jamie is killed in a car crash while traveling to a class reunion with his best friend Todd. Eighteen months later, Ellie is having a hard time moving on. She finds herself still talking to Jamie, living in the same flat although it has gone downhill, and not dating anyone else. With help from her father-in-law, Tony, Ellie moves to Primrose Hill (an upper class area of London), where she makes a great new friend, Roo, and finds a new job within walking distance.

At her new job, Ellie has a handsome boss named Zack McLaren who happens to be crazy about her. Not wanting to mix her love life and her job, Ellie keeps her personal details to herself and tries to keep her crush for Zack under control. She starts to move on with her love life, much to Zack’s dismay. Will she be able to see the love that is right under her nose?

Side stories also include Roo and her transformation from an ex-rocker marriage wrecker to a being a better, caring person, and Tony finding a second chance at love. Tony meets an attractive middle aged artist and they feel an instant attraction. Unfortunately Martha is married. Her long-time love and husband Henry is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and is in a home. Martha is lonely, but loves her husband and can’t move on while he is alive. I thought it was a great look into the complications of love and the difficulties of living with Alzheimer's. My only complaint is that I would love to have read more about Martha and Tony . . . spin-off novel?

I read this novel in record time and had a hard time putting it down. Mansell was able to write a novel that both has a realistic look at grief, but is also a light-hearted romance. It’s a difficult task to find that perfect balance, but I believe that Mansell achieved it flawlessly.

Mansell has a wonderful gift for writing interesting, fully developed characters. I loved Jamie and he was dead by the end of the first chapter. I love how the story involved so much more than Ellie as a main character; the reader really gets to know the entire world of characters in which she resides.

Overall, To the Moon and Back is another fantastic novel by Jill Mansell. If you’ve loved her previous work, or are looking for something new to read, I highly recommend her!

Book Source: Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!


  1. I haven't read the chick lit genre in a while but this sounds more serious than a lot of what I read. I'll keep this author in mind when I'm in the mood for this genre!

  2. Laura, this does sound like great "chick lit". If you enjoy this author, I would, too, most likely. I will definitely keep an eye out for her books.

  3. Jill Mansell is one of my favorite authors now. I'm finishing this one up this weekend and I'm really loving it too.