Thursday, October 6, 2011
To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell
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!