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17 March 2016

Rambling About.. Cecelia Ahern's There's No Place Like Here

I started reading this a week ago. I've been so swamped with life in general that it's taken me a while, but at least I've been able to give it a Book Beginnings/Friday 56 post AND a Teaser Tuesday post and now a ramble. It really deserves the attention, too.

Title: There's No Place Like Here
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Amazon Description:   Since Sandy Shortt's childhood classmate disappeared twenty years ago, Sandy has been obsessed with missing things. Finding what is lost becomes her single-minded goal--from the lone sock that vanishes in the washing machine to the car keys she misplaced. It's no surprise, then, that Sandy's life's work becomes finding people who have vanished from their loved ones. Sandy's family is baffled and concerned by her increasing preoccupation. Her parents can't understand her compulsion, and she pushes them away further by losing herself in the work of tracking down these missing people. She gives up her life in order to offer a flicker of hope to devastated families...and escape the disappointments of her own.
Jack Ruttle is one of those devastated people. It's been a year since his brother Donal vanished into thin air, and he has enlisted Sandy Shortt to find him. But before she is able to offer Jack the information he so desperately needs, Sandy goes missing too...and Jack now finds himself searching for his brother and the one woman who understood his pain.
One minute Sandy is jogging through the park, the next, she can't figure out where she is. The path is obscured. Nothing is familiar. A clearing up ahead reveals a camp site, and it's there that Sandy discovers the impossible: she has inadvertently stumbled upon the place-- and people--she's been looking for all her life, a land where all the missing people go. A world away from her loved ones and the home she ran from for so long, Sandy soon resorts to her old habit again, searching. Though this time, she is desperately trying to find her way home...

First Line: Jenny-May Butler, the little girl who lived across the road from me, went missing when I was a child.
Favorites on 4s: 4% - How can I describe this place? It's an in-between place. It's like a grand hallway that leads you nowhere, it's like a banquet dinner of leftovers, a sports team made up of the people never picked, a mother without her child, it's a body without its heart.
14% - "You're mature for your age, Sandy." "Funny, because I was hoping you'd know an awful lot more for yours."
44% - I pictured the people in my life who tried to approach me, to befriend me, who tried to connect with me. I pictured me knocking them back.
64% - At moments when life is at its worst there are two things that you can do: 1) break down, lose hope, and refuse to go on while lying face-down on the ground banging your fists and kicking your legs, or 2) laugh.
74% - Within every bad thing I see good, and, likewise, within every good thing I see bad, however impossible it is to understand it or see it at the time. As humans we are the epitome of life; in life there is always balance.

Ramble: Like I said, the only reason it took me so long to read this was because of life distractions.  It's the first book of Ahern's that I've read, though I've seen a couple of the movies based on her books before and quite adored them, as well. I loved this book once I really got into it ... in spite of the fact that I found Sandy, the main character, a bit abrasive and unlikable most of the time. I guess I just kept rooting for her to find herself (and her missing socks) and become more likable. What I really loved was the whole premise of the place called Here where missing things and people end up. We all have things that just disappear and I love thinking that they've ended up Here being used and loved by a mis-placed person. I keep remembering toys that my son had when he was younger. He didn't ever take anything out of the house but still the toys would go MIA. People Here have built new lives with new families and new babies being born so maybe one of them has gotten some delight out of the missing Velma action figure. (Seriously -- the only member of Scooby gang to vanish and her mysterious disappearance has been getting to me for at least 5 years.) I wish the book had spent more time getting know more about Here and its inhabitants, though I can't think of anything in the book that I would replace for it. I guess the book just needed to be longer .... or, even better, have a sequel set Here without Sandy!

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