“Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump.
Adam is desperate–but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him that before then she can show him that life is worth living.
Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life. But is that all that’s starting to happen?”
How does one fall in love?
That’s what happened to me while reading Cecelia Ahern’s most recent book. I fell completely and utterly in love–without expecting it. Because, to be quite frank, I found the first few chapters of this book a chore to plod through. But I fought on. Because the premise intrigued me. How do you convince someone who wants to kill their self that life is worth living still?
Apparently, the answer is by living life with them.
Ahern is a master storyteller in this book, weaving the intricate patterns of a realistic love story without losing sight of who her characters are.
Both Adam and Christine are flawed characters. They have issues. And throughout the course of their story, their issues develop with them. Ahern doesn’t employ the magic of love in her story–she tackles the reality head on by having her characters address the fact that, even in love, they cannot change their very core in an instant just because they wanted to.
But what made me fall in love with Ahern’s book isn’t just the realistic approach it has about love between two people with issues. It’s how it tackles the distinction between falling in love, and falling in love with love. And it deals with the repercussions of every action the characters make.
Still, the book isn’t perfect. It holds back one particular information that changes how we see the characters. Specifically, how we see Christine. An information which I feel would’ve enriched the character had it been shared much earlier.
Because I don’t think this withheld information would change the trajectory of the characters’ stories. In fact, I believe that it would make the story much more satisfying for the readers, because you get to understand Christine’s motives from the get go. And you appreciate her actions more.
Even with this game-changing secret though, I still fell in love with the book. Which, I guess, is also the lesson the book wants to convey: you only know you’re in love with someone when you accept their faults–even before you find out the reason for them.
And I accept the faults of this book. Because, at the end of it all, it tells a beautiful story about life, love, and accepting your lot in life.
Now, go and find a copy of How to Fall in Love. Buy it or borrow it. Read it.