“The year I met you” is Cecelia Ahern’s newest book released at the end of last year. She recently announced a new book that will be released November 2015 named “The marble collector”. Seems like this author is on a roll. But I don’t mind. I read most of her books and she is one of my favorites. She writes charming stories, easy to read, that certainly appeal to lots.
The title of the book relates to the time that Jasmine’s life took a serious turn. Her life was made of her work and her care of her sister with Down syndrome. There wasn’t time for anything else. She loved her job and it also served her as a distraction from life in general. But her latest project did not turn out the way she wanted, having misunderstandings with her work partner, so she was put on a full year gardening leave. It really has nothing to do with the activity of gardening, although the gardening activity and flowers are a big theme throughout the story. What it really is, is more of a paid vacation. She was basically fired, but was unable to engage in another job as she was still tied for a year to her old job.
So what is there for Jasmine to do as her life was defined by the job that she loved and did very well, but could not really pursue for a year? The story follows Jasmine for a year when all the other aspects of life hit as she is no longer buried in work. She meets new people that get her through her tough year, among which is Matt Marshall, a controversial and very popular radio personality who has his own serious problems that he chooses to deal with in a not so suitable way. Obviously both of them will begin to confide in one another as both are home bound for a long period of time without a job to distract them.
Surprisingly, I have to say, the whole Jasmine-Matt relationship won’t turn into a love story, it is a proper man-woman friendship. At least not the love story you would expect. Being accustomed with Cecelia’s stories where the main male character is usually the love interest of the main female character and their love story is in great focus, turns out this time is not the case. I appreciate that Cecelia mixes things up a bit and creates a character development story that feels authentic and can easily strike a cord in people in similar situations without it having a predictable love story as a final destination. It centers more on the challenges of facing your life as is it, with family problems, facing the responsibilities and opportunities that life throws at you when you actually pay attention to it and do not have the job reason to ignore it.
It isn’t my favorite out of Cecelia’s books, but it is a good change of character dynamics and is also a story that imitates life more closely without having something major happening, without a high peak followed by a predictable ending. It is more like reading through someone’s journal of a challenging period in life that serves as a game changer and as a fresh starting point towards a more fulfilling life.