The Time of My Life – Cecilia Ahern

Lucy Silchester, age 29,  has a date – a date with Life. Her Life! Which is masculine by the way and answers to the name (no joke) Cosmo! Lucy’s Life gets in touch to make her see that she has treated it badly for some time now and that this really has got to change. And Life is going to reveal one truth for each lie Lucy is telling. So at first, they don’t exactly hit it off together. But in the end Lucy realizes that inspite of all the trouble he gives her, life has actually got her back.

One of the main topics in The Time of My Life is ‚family‘. Everyone  knows, besides the many positive aspects family offers, how painful it sometimes can be and the author finds exactly the right words to illustrate this fact. Lucy’s family is first of all very wealthy. Every member of the Silchesters except Lucy herself seems to be thriving and kind of „making daddy proud“. The father is a well-known and successful judge, not necessarily the warm and fuzzy father type. Most of the time he is reserved and detached, making it very clear on each possible occasion that he disapproves of his daughter’s life. Lucy’s brothers seem to be nice enough but nevertheless, none of them takes a stand against the attitude with which their father treats Lucy. Mrs Silchester finally acts as the perfect wife to her husband, poised and presentable. In the course of time, however, she realizes that she has missed to live her own life apart from being a wife and a mother and starts to break free.

Another big theme in the book is ‚lying‘. Lucy constantly and habitually tells lies to each and every person surrounding her, sometimes even to herself. She thinks that she is lying to spare people’s feelings but Cosmo tries to make her see that genuinely she is lying to avoid making a stand. I think these lies are called white lies or emergency lies, in German ‚Notlügen‘. In the radio some time ago there was an interesting documentation about lying. The report established the fact that people tend to lie more often when they get older. Curiously enough, you would think it was the other way around and children would lie more often than adults but in reality the opposite seems to be the case. The report argued that adults are lying frequently to soften their decisions which might hurt other people even before that actually has occurred. This implies a deep conviciton that other people wouldn’t understand our decisions. We don’t seem to trust our friends or family to approve of our choices or at least to accept them especially if they are directly or indirectly affected by them. Cecila Ahern really touches a spot there. She triggers readers to overthink this habitual „emergency“ lying (which actually isn’t an emergency at all) and dares them to challenge people around to take them for the person they are, with all their quirks and pecularities.

One major asset of Cecilia Ahern as a writer is her humour which is really extraordinary. The few serious sometimes rather sad parts of the book lose their edges by having a good laugh about the author’s choice of words and wit. Some dialogues in the book are so funny I had to laugh out loud. The Time of my Life provides just the right mixture of irony, sarcasm and dry humour.

This eighth novel of Cecilia Ahern is a funny, sometimes bitter-sweet, life-affirming, georgeous read! I really loved it. Having once read her debut novel P.S. I love You which I thought was top notch regarding the idea of the plot but somehow bumpy in carrying it out, I now felt that in the past seven novels Ahern has truly become an author.

2 thoughts on “The Time of My Life – Cecilia Ahern

  1. Hi ! Just a brief thought that emerged when I read the part about lying.
    Isn´t it just as much a sign of arrogance as of uncertainty to lie to sb. out of fear of what I expect him / her to do? For that would mean that I consider myself capable of predicting how the person is going to react.Bit presumtuous innit ?

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