February 9, 2012
To the Moon and Back
To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell
Rating: 3/5 (Good)
The hardest part of love is moving on…
It’s been a year since Ellie Kendall’s husband, Jamie, was killed in an accident, but she’s still haunted by his memory. In fact, she finds herself talking to him regularly. At the urging of Jamie’s successful actor father Tony, Ellie moves to London’s glamorous Primrose Hill, where nobody knows her past…
But even in her new home—and with her hardworking new boss, Zack McLaren; and Jamie’s best friend Todd to distract her—Ellie can’t seem to leave Jamie behind. Will Ellie stay stuck in the past? Or will she realize the man of her dreams is flesh and blood—and right in front of her eyes…
I first learned about Jill Mansell and her latest novel, To the Moon and Back, last fall after reading Bookfool's glowing review. Eager to try a new author, I added the title to my list, but I need not have bothered as Nancy was sweet enough to send me her copy. I finally moved it from one of my towering stacks in my office to one of my towering stacks on my nightstand, vowing to read it in January. Success!
Reminiscent of Bridget Jones’ Diary and Holly’s Inbox, I was quickly drawn into Ellie’s story, enjoying the London setting and all the wonderful references to England. (I am such a British word nerd and have to make a conscious effort to not say “queue” or “lorry” or “Bloody Hell!” after reading these sort of books.) Nancy said she whipped through it in a couple of days, but it took me closer to a week. Of course, I’ve been juggling a few books at a time (not my usual routine), so I may have been able to finish this one in a few short days, had I been reading it exclusively. As Nancy said, it’s fun and breezy, and the pages practically turn themselves.
So why didn’t I love it? The three main male characters never sounded convincing. I couldn’t get past the fact that they sounded more like women than men. What do you think? How often do you hear a man say “thingy?” As in, “What was that invention thingy he’d heard about? Some kind of dexterity test connected to your computer that you had to pass before it would allow you to access the internet.” And, “But since he hadn’t had that particular invention thingy installed, he hadn’t even needed to do that.” Or, what about this, “Earlier, as he’d been standing outside the restaurant taking a phone call, a girl in a pink coat had caught his eye as she headed down the street towards him. Her hair was long and dark, her eyes light brown, her cheeks rosy, and the effect she’d had on him was extraordinary; he couldn’t stop looking at her. Whoever she was, he wanted to know more. Heavens, what a weird feeling; he’d never experienced anything like this before.” Heavens? Really? Do men say that? Even in their heads?
I enjoyed the book, but found myself getting a bit restless, wishing for something a little more literary or thought-provoking. Can I finally admit that chick-lit is not my thing? But maybe it’s yours. If you’re in the mood for a fluffy British romp, Jill Mansell may just be your cuppa tea.
Go here to read Nancy’s review.
Final thoughts: What the heck is a wine gum?
Pretty British cover art: