For once I must write that my latest read was a bit of a flat fall. It never got going properly. Just lulled on in a gentle, Irish kind of way that I found sweet and cosy at times, but never terribly exciting. And that’s not great news for a book which is supposed to send you into paroxysms of excitement for wanting to know what’s going to happen next. It’s not even the genre I don’t get, cause I do. More often than I dare to admit do I end up with my nose in one of the chick-flicks lying around the house. So there I’ve said it. But this one just didn’t get its tail of the runway.
A place called Here has got a fascinating storyline, and that’s probably why I feel a bit let down by Cecelia Ahern’s fourth novel. Sandy Shortt, a lanky girl of six-foot-something and in her early thirties, is a likable main character who’ve spent the last ten years of her life looking for missing people. First as an employee of the Irish Gardaí, now she runs her own missing peoples agency being hired by families where the Gardaí have given up hope of ever finding their loved ones. Her asperger like behaviour and manic need to find things or people missing comes from the unsettling experience of her best friend disapearing when both girls were ten years old. Since then she has had a need to find everything that goes missing and an unreasonable mind, not being able to grasp the concept of things going missing. For most of us the missing sock from the laundry is something which might make us irritated, a bit of an everyday mystery, but Sandy Shortt can not accept the fact that anything can disapear and go nowhere. It must all end up somewhere. Or so she believes.
She has been hired by a Jack Ruttle to look for his brother who disapeared over a year ago. After having had many long conversations over the phone they have decided to meet in a little town early one morning, and without knowing whom they are they bump in to eachother at a gas station a few hours before the meeting is to take place. They strike up a quick conversation and then disapear (pardon the pun) in different directions to collect their minds before they’re off to their respective meetings. Though, that meeting never happens. Sandy goes missing herself, whilst jogging along the water in a woodland area while preparing for the day ahead. And this is where the fairytale like story begins. When Sandy wakes up after a blackout caused by no-one really knows what she finds herself in a paralell world where, you’ve guessed it already I’m sure, all things missing go. People as well as items. When Sandy meet some of the people she’s been looking for in this newfound place called Here, she can’t believe her luck. Not until she realises she can’t just go back to where she came from.
The ins and outs of what happens next would be too boring for you to read here; you might well find out if you feel like reading it yourself. But if you’re looking for a book to pass a few hours with, I’d choose another one. Perhaps PS, I love you, Ahern’s debut novel written when she was just 21, is a better choice. I will give that one a go when I have time. She can’t be famous for nothing, so I’m sure it’s better than A Place called Here. However, I did find one sentence on one of the first pages which I found quite remarkable and kept me thinking for some time:
…from the age of ten, I was convinced that you couldn’t replace what was lost.
I find it an incredibly comforting thought, that a ten year old girl had a thought like that. If more of us kept that in mind, young adults as well as grown-ups, I am sure we would live in a better world. Unfortunately, these thoughts wasn’t provoked by the book and its content, simply by a setence litteraly wrenched out of its context.