Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday 27th July 2011. Yours sincerely Life.
Lucy Silchester has received an appointment card. Actually, she's been invited along a few times to this appointment, but she keeps brushing the gold embossed envelope under the shag pile carpet. She's taken her eye off the ball and 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 Lucy is about to find out that this is one appointment that she can't miss. And she can't escape it either. Her Life is about to catch up with her in the most surreal of ways.
We’re nearing the end of June, which means I read another novel for this month’s book discussion for The New Book Club (@thenewbookclub). I had the honour of choosing our next book, and I decided to go for one that had been lying on one of my book shelves for quite some time already, but somehow I hadn’t found the time to actually pick up and start reading; ‘The Time of My Life’ by Cecelia Ahern. Cecelia Ahern has been one of my favourite authors since I read ‘P.S. I Love You’ and I have no idea why it took me so long to actually read ‘The Time of My Life’, because I always buy her new releases as soon as I can. So, this was a great opportunity to finally pick up this novel and dive into it!
Lucy Silchester has developed the tendency to ignore most things in her life: her job (she doesn’t hate it, doesn’t love it), her apartment (it’s tiny, but it’ll do), her family (she has probably used every possible excuse to get out of any kind of family gathering), her friends (she never even stays until the end of get-togethers, because what’s the point?)... However, one day Lucy is confronted with something she can’t possibly ignore, no matter how much she might want to: an invitation to a meeting with her Life. The same one she has been busy ignoring for the past few years, while hiding herself from others behind a framework of lies. Lucy will have to face the facts and make some changes, with no one but her own Life by her side to guide her along the way.
Just like most of her other novels, Cecelia Ahern has added a touch of magic to ‘The Time of My Life’, as already becomes apparent in the novel’s description. The idea of your own Life actually walking around on the earth somewhere and when things aren’t going the way they should, you being invited to have a meeting with your own Life... I can honestly say that is something that had never even crossed my mind before I read this novel. But it is at the same time an idea I love and I once again applaud Cecelia Ahern for her imagination and impressive writing skills to come up with such a clever idea and executing it in such an enchanting way. At the beginning of the novel, I didn’t particularly warm to Lucy. I thought she was a bit annoying, but as the novel progressed, Lucy changed and I really liked this development of character. I enjoyed the mix of characters around Lucy (Life/Cosmo Brown and Don in particular) and I really felt myself warming to the story as it continued.
It took me a bit of time to really get into the story, longer than usually with Cecelia Ahern novels. However, I really enjoyed this novel and the unique concept behind it. I think Cecelia Ahern’s novels have to be your ‘cup of tea’, and you have to believe in a bit of magic, if you really want to enjoy them. Yet, since most of her novels end up on the best-sellers lists over and over again, I think I can safely say she has a large fan base who loves her specific style of writing and ideas. ‘The Time of My Life’ is a wonderful tale that is funny, has a touch of romance, and turns something ordinary like the choices we make in life and how they define us, into something special. This novel is a magical, warm and thought-provoking read, and after reading it I know I will continue to secretly hope to find an invitation from my own Life in the mail one of these days!