Thanks for the Memories

Thanks for the Memories

Thanks for the Memories is a novel by Cecelia Ahern published in 2008. The narrative follows two very different people as their lives begin to entwine. Justin is visiting Dublin to give a lecture on art and is persuaded to give blood. Joyce has just awoken after a terrible accident which has caused her to lose her baby and, by the looks of it, her marriage too. After the accident she has a blood transfusion to save her life and suddenly remembers things that have never happened to her, and information she didn't know before. The pair have never met and yet are magically drawn to one another, due to Justin's blood saving Joyce's life.

Both Joyce and Justin have become despondent with their lives; Joyce moves in with her father after the accident and her marriage falls apart. Justin is divorced and spends most of his time traveling around giving lectures to students that he feels really aren't that interested. Their paths cross several times throughout the story, and each time they meet they become ever closer. The narrative is somewhat predictable, but Thanks for the Memories is still a compelling read. It follows the likes of Cecelia's previous books in the theme of "soulmates will always find each other", and makes for a delightful, if somewhat unbelievable, love story.

While the notion of blood transfusions leading to some kind of transference of memories, feelings and knowledge is utterly ridiculous, Cecelia's story makes it irrelevant. It has a similar effect to Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook, where a sever Alzheimer's sufferer remembers everything and reconciles with her husband before they pass away peacefully together. The impossible scientific notion behind the narrative is easy to pass in both of these cases, allowing the reader to really sink their teeth into the love stories they incite.

The love story in Thanks for the Memories, however, is not the main focus of the book, despite it being the main narrative. The book instead focuses on relationships and the importance of family dynamics, particularly on Joyce's relationship with her lovable father and Justin's relationship with his estranged daughter. Joyce's father in particular is a gem within the story, a well-meaning old man who offers comic relief within the narrative with a quaint Irish charm.

Another of Cecelia Ahern's love stories with a bit of a magical twist, Thanks for the Memories is ultimately about two lonely people who find love and comfort in one another, due to this miraculous connection they have. This book is definitely recommended, but only for those who can get their head around the lack of scientific truth in it.

By Sophie Atherton @SophAthers

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