A couple quick notes --
- The Cecilia Ahern novel, for the most part, left me with a big smile. I have three people I wish to suggest it to, and about 10 friends I would caution not to read it. It's probably too soppy for some, and exactly warm and fuzzy enough for others. The premise, for example, is summed up in a letter at the start of the book: My darling Holly, I don't know where you are or when exactly you are reading this. I just hope that my letter has found you safe and healthy. You whispered to me not long ago that you couldn't go on alone. You can, Holly. You are strong and brave and you can get through this. We shared some beautiful times and you made my life . . . you made my life. I have no regrets..... I promised a list, so here it is. (p. 32-33) Yes, kind readers, this is a book written for women by a woman. This is the kind of letter some women, perhaps stupidly, dream of receiving. And really, my biggest beef about this vanilla book is the two capitalized letters at the very close: THE END. I hate the idea of any story just stopping abruptly.
- The idea of this contest has me completely intrigued and sort of excited. To tell a story in 250 words? Easy peasy. To do it right and perhaps even poetically? Hm.
- Okay, I'm not finished with dissecting the vanilla novel, although this barely counts.... How could they have translated a good Irish novel to cast an American in the key role? The reason Holly feels so very alone and out of control is because she and her husband actually grew up together and were never separated. If the movie has Hilary Swank travelling to Ireland for the first time to see where her husband grew up, I'm not sure I get how that works within the story Ahern wrote. And, when I look at the cast list, it seems a whole bunch of characters have been created who were never in the book. While I'm thrilled to see that puts a role in the hands of Jeffrey Dean Morgan -- and hopefully he won't be killed off for once -- I have a lot of question marks.