A Place Called Here – Cecelia Ahern

I’ve loved Cecelia Ahern ever since I read PS, I Love You, therefore snapping up her latest offering was a must. A Place Called Here is the tale of Sandy Shortt – a woman whose past has been marred by lost things. When she was ten years old, her classmate Jenny-May Butler went missing. Simply vanished. No evidence of foul play or her having run away – it was as if she had been sucked into the sky. Since then, Sandy has had an obsession with finding things, and people. Socks, clothes, brothers, sisters. Finding has become Sandy’s life.

Now an adult, Sandy runs a missing persons agency. People come to her when the police have exhausted all possible leads – and Sandy continues where they left off. Sometimes she is successful, sometimes she is not. Nevertheless, Jack Ruttle enlists her help to find his younger brother, Donal, who went missing a year ago. They spend hours on the phone going over the evidence, and eventually decide to meet. However, Sandy doesn’t turn up at their meeting – much to Jack’s confusion. From the conversations they’ve had, Jack knows Sandy well enough to know this is unlike her.

Days later, Sandy still hasn’t shown up. Friends and family assure Jack this is normal behaviour, and that she often takes off for days at a time, without telling anybody where she is going. But Jack knows something is wrong, and decides to try and find her. He has to find her, because she is the only one that can help him find Donal.

Sandy, however, has finally achieved her life’s goal. She has found the place where all lost things go. A parallel universe where missing socks, clothes, brothers and sisters turn up. Her life’s work is in this special place – the people she has searched for – all here. Well, almost all. Sandy is yet to find Donal, or her old classmate Jenny-May. But Sandy finally feels complete now she has proven the existance of such a place. Now all she has to do is find her way home again…

A Place Called Here started off well – I immediately cared about the main character Sandy, and found myself wanting to understand her strange quirks, and what has made her the way she is. As the story progressed I really liked the way things were going, especially the interwoven tales of love, loss and obsession. I couldn’t wait to find out the conclusion to Sandy’s tale. But I was disappointed. I had theories, of course, but I think Ahern could have made her ending much more powerful – instead it’s left fairly ambiguous and in the air, which I didn’t like.

This isn’t a bad read, and addresses some interesting topics, for example Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but a real let down of an ending. Still, if you’re into chick-lit there’s worse you could read.

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