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Love, Rosie starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin is one of my favourite films and the novel Where Rainbows End written by Cecelia Ahern is its basis. Somehow, I didn’t get around to reading the book until this year. It’s one of those books that don’t take much brain power to read yet keep you captivated.
This novel covers the story of childhood best friends, Alex Stewart and Rosie Dunne, and how life can tug you around and change your plans. Written exclusively in letters, emails, notes and cards between the prominent characters, there is no need to outline sections with a narrative for the reader.
Alex and Rosie are separated when the Stewarts move to Boston; Rosie applies and is accepted into Boston College to join him. As the readers, we are carried through their long-distance friendship continually questioning whether they will turn it into a relationship. It remains long-distance although the Boston College plans because of an unforeseen event at the high school debs. Rosie’s life was completely turned around when Alex couldn’t get on a flight for Ireland to be her date to the debs and she ended up taking someone they called Brian the Whine. She dislikes him so much and ends up drinking a little too much leading to her becoming pregnant. She has to retract her college acceptance and stays in Ireland with her parents.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a realistic and compelling story. Although you might think the format of the novel, being in notes and letters and so forth, would be fitful and sporadic, it follows a very smooth storyline that keeps you engaged. When I first picked up the book, I worried this would leave it hollow, but I was happily surprised by a substantial novel which left me wishing it didn’t end. Furthermore, as a Creative Writing student writing a book myself, I found the round characters made the story relatable and realistic. For example, Rosie comes across as a kind and gentle girl who misbehaves a little in school as many of us have done. She becomes a powerful woman pushing for her dream job despite many hurdles; having a daughter made her resilient while remaining a lovely best friend to Alex and Ruby. She raises a daughter, Katie, who becomes more similar to Rosie as the story progresses.
The book shows that you can still have your dreams while fate plays games with you. Of course, you don’t know how the book finishes unless you read it, but although the ending is predictable, the in-between bits are not at all. Marriages, deaths and friends falling-out show the realistic side of the story. People miss chances and make mistakes, and this is clear in Where Rainbows End. Alex and Rosie’s relationship grows from them being 7 to around 50 years old, leaving you frustrated with their inconsistency and continually missing each other until they look back and realise the “days gone by” could have been so different.