by Cecelia Ahern
It is somewhat disingenuous to class Cecelia Ahern’s books as rom-coms, but I must admit it is something I have often been guilty of. True, her books generally have all the right ingredients: lonely young woman meets lonely young man in unusual circumstances; they become friends, things go wrong due to misunderstandings, they realise their mistakes, make up and live happily ever after.
In this case, even the title screams “rom-com” at you. But this book, like many of her other takes of romance has a sharp edge to it that cuts through the usual comedy.
In “How To Fall In Love” Cecelia Ahern brings the often taboo subjects of suicide and depression right to the fore. Finding herself confronted by someone attempting suicide, Christine Rose is determined to do something to keep the handsome (obviously) Adam from ending it all. She has her own motivations, not least of which is that it is the second time in a week she has found herself face to face with a man trying to kill himself.
Known to her friends and family as a Miss fix-it, Christine faces her toughest challenge to date: proving that life is worth living, even when everything seems too dark to continue. And she has just two weeks to do it in, whilst at the same time dealing with the breakdown of her marriage.
Throughout the book the characters of Christine and Adam are drawn closer to each other as they both begin to face their demons and re-discover what really matters to them.
If you take a moment to stand back and think about it, the plot is so fanciful and full of holes, you might wonder how it hangs together. But strangely enough, it does, and very well.
Depression is a difficult subject to discuss, but Cecilia Ahern deals with it with humour, compassion and skill.
“How To Fall In love” may not be a modern classic, but I found it strangely refreshing and heart-warming. Just what I needed to get me through the Christmas holidays.