Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahearn: Book Review

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I saw the trailer for the adaptation of Cecelia Ahearn’s romantic novel, re-titled Love, Rosie, and thought it might be worthwhile to read the book. Now that I’ve finished Ahearn’s tale of friendship and fate, I’m unsure whether it was worthwhile at all. I’m quite undecided, really. Though leaning towards not very worthwhile.

There are a lot of good things about this novel. For one, it’s funny. Even laugh-out-loud funny at times. Secondly, the characters are likeable – well, most of them.If they’re not it’s because they aren’t meant to be. Thirdly, the letter/email structure of the novel is a welcome change. And lastly, the plot is entertaining enough to the point that it was often difficult to put down.

While these are the good things about it, there are also quite a lot of things about it that are not so great. Unfortunately, most of the book feels like a series of plot devices planted specifically to keep best friends Rosie and Alex apart – literally and in the sense that they have between them a severe case of skinny love (definition: when two people love each other but are too shy/nervous to admit it but they still show it.) It’s very frustrating. I spent most of the novel thinking OMG GET IT TOGETHER YOU BIG PAIR OF IDIOTS. It just all seemed pointless how much time they spent apart when they both just wanted to be with each other. Of course, they do get to have children with their husbands and wives, and the kids are great, but still. It was frustrating they just couldn’t get it together sooner. Of course, it’s all a bit predictable in the end. But still sweet and of course, very romantic. 

I haven’t read a lot of books like this. I mean, I consume anything YA contemporary with love as the main theme, but I haven’t read any romantic novels written for adults, like Nicholas Sparks or whatever. The majority of this novel is set during Alex and Rosie’s adult lives, and I’m not sure whether the film has veered off that course or not, but anyway. I don’t know. This was an entertaining novel, sure, but it’s not a story that blew me away or really inspired me. It contextualises the whole fate/destiny/best friends forever theme, but it doesn’t establish something that I think is far more important: going after what want, no matter the anxiety, no matter how much it scares you. In that way I felt Rosie and Alex, though they both try to express their feelings at one point, were weak characters and certainly not influential. I really don’t know how they put up with being apart for like 30 years. It’s ridiculous. GROW SOME BALLS ALREADY!

For a romantic comedy story this novel is just what you’d expect and quite enjoyable. Otherwise, if you’re looking for something more original and exciting, it’s a poor read and not one that I’d recommend. Certainly for some but not for everyone.

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