Thanks for the memories

Cecelia Ahern, 1981-

Book - 2009

How can you know someone you've never met? Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and meets an attractive doctor, who persuades him to donate blood. It's the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time. When Joyce Conway leaves the hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, she moves back in with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of déjà vu is overwhelming her and she can't figure out why.

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New York : HarperCollins 2009.
Main Author
Cecelia Ahern, 1981- (-)
1st ed
Item Description
Originally published in 2008 in Great Britain, in a slightly different form, by Harper UK.
Physical Description
371 p. ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

A hurried trip down a flight of stairs in her home costs Joyce Conway the thing she wanted most: her baby. A blood transfusion saves her life, but after Joyce wakes up, she finds herself with knowledge and memories she knows aren't her own. As her marriage falls apart, Joyce becomes fixated on two things a handsome American man named Justin she met the day she got out of the hospital, and finding out who donated the blood and she finds herself on a quest for both. If Ahern's last novel, the wonderful There's No Place Like Here (2008), was among her best, this latest entry is one of her weaker offerings. The lead characters are thin, and in the case of Joyce's father, downright annoying, and the games Joyce plays wear a little thin. Still, Ahern devotees will enjoy the magical connection that springs up between Joyce and Justin, and will keep turning the pages to find out if the two can make their way to a happy ending together.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Contrivance and a multitude of sitcom mixups drive Ahern's fifth novel. When Joyce Conway gets a blood transfusion after a tragic accident that caused her to miscarry, she strangely picks up the memories of her donor. Upon release from the hospital, she moves in with her father to try to cope with her impending divorce and the loss of her baby, but ends up instead on a wild goose chase after feeling a connection with a mysterious, smoldering stranger in a hair salon. Their relationship is obvious to the reader immediately, which makes the following several hundred pages a less than satisfying exercise in delaying the inevitable. Fans of Ahern's earlier work won't be disappointed with the fairy tale-like feeling, but readers not already in the fold might not stick around to the obvious conclusion. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

After falling and suffering a miscarriage, Joyce moves back in with her aging father when her marriage dissolves. Suddenly, she starts having the strangest daydreams, finds herself able to speak Latin, and spouts academic facts regarding architecture and Irish history. Justin, a visiting professor at Dublin's Trinity College, wants to feel important-he imagines saving someone's life and having that person forever in his debt. After giving blood one afternoon, he keeps running into a mysterious woman wherever he goes and can't understand why he's attracted to her. Turns out, his donation went to Joyce during her hospital stay, and now the two are inexplicably linked. The secondary characters of Justin's family and Joyce's amusing father help to keep this tale grounded. Ahern (P.S. I Love You) has a knack for getting to the heart of human emotions-Joyce's emotional pain is palpable, as is Justin's longing for meaning in his life. The author started out writing chick lit before venturing into decidedly fairy-tale terrain. This title manages to blend the two elements smoothly. For all fiction collections.-Rebecca Vnuk, Glen Ellyn P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Bestselling Irish author Ahern (There's No Place Like Here, 2008, etc.) is at it again with a tale of dj vu via blood transfusions. The novel opens with Joyce lying at the bottom of her stairs and bleeding, barely conscious but knowing the worstthis fall has cost her her pregnancy. When she wakes in the hospital her dear old dad is there, though husband Conor is away on business and his less-than-prompt return bodes ill for the relationshipin fact, Joyce dispatches with her loveless marriage soon after returning to her childhood home. Loss of her baby (devastating as she's been trying for years) and imminent divorce (less devastating as Conor, away most of the year on business, will hardly be missed) is not the only upheaval in Joyce's life. She's just not quite the same personshe now eats meat, speaks fluent Italian, has a vast knowledge of European art and architecture and, creepiest of all, has someone else's memories. Little does she know that a month prior, dashing American Justin Hitchcock (you guessed itvisiting lecturer at Trinity College on European art and architecture) donated a pint of his blood, which she received at the emergency room. Over time, the two bump into each other at a hair salon; he sees her on television; he sees her riding a tour bus in London; she sees him at the ballet. At each sighting and ensuing missed opportunity, they feel an inexplicable connection, a kind of love at first sight. Though the reader is certainly expected to root for their romance, the essential relationship of the novel is between Joyce and her aged father. Not only are the two together for most of the novel, their relationship is tender and funny and far more authentic than the rather odd premise of Joyce and Justin's destiny. Ahern's nice comic timing and affectionate portrayal of a father and daughter saves this from becoming just another (slightly weird) chick-lit romance. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Thanks for the Memories A Novel Chapter One "Blood transfusion," Dr. Fields announces from the podium of a lecture hall in Trinity College's Arts Building, "is the process of transferring blood or blood-based products from one person into the circulatory system of another. Blood transfusions may treat medical conditions such as massive blood loss due to trauma, surgery, shock, and where the red-cell-producing mechanism fails. "Here are the facts. Three thousand donations are needed in Ireland every week. Only three percent of the Irish population are donors, providing blood for a population of almost four million. One in four people will need a transfusion at some point. Take a look around the room now." Five hundred heads turn left, right, and around. Uncomfortable sniggers break the silence. Dr. Fields elevates her voice over the disruption. "At least one hundred and fifty people in this room will need a blood transfusion at some stage in their lives." That silences them. A hand is raised. "Yes?" "How much blood does a patient need?" "How long is a piece of string, dumb-ass?" a voice from the back mocks, and a scrunched ball of paper flies at the head of the young male inquirer. "It's a very good question." She frowns into the darkness, unable to see the students through the light of the projector. "Who asked that?" "Mr. Dover," someone calls from the other side of the room. "I'm sure Mr. Dover can answer for himself. What's your first name?" "Ben," he responds, sounding dejected. Laughter erupts. Dr. Fields sighs. "Ben, thank you for your question--and to the rest of you, there is no such thing as a stupid question. This is what Blood for Life Week is all about. It's about asking all the questions you want, learning all you need to know about blood transfusions before you possibly donate today, tomorrow, the remaining days of this week on campus, or maybe regularly in your future." The main door opens, and light streams into the dark lecture hall. Justin Hitchcock enters, the concentration on his face illuminated by the white light of the projector. Under one arm are multiple piles of folders, each one slipping by the second. A knee shoots up to hoist them back in place. His right hand carries both an overstuffed briefcase and a dangerously balanced Styrofoam cup of coffee. He slowly lowers his hovering foot down to the floor, as though performing a tai chi move, and a relieved smile creeps onto his face as calm is restored. Somebody sniggers, and the balancing act is once again compromised. Hold it, Justin. Move your eyes away from the cup and assess the situation. Woman on podium, five hundred kids. All staring at you. Say something. Something intelligent. "I'm confused," he announces to the darkness, behind which he senses some sort of life-form. There are twitters in the room, and he feels all eyes on him as he moves back toward the door to check the number. Don't spill the coffee. Don't spill the damn coffee. He opens the door, allowing shafts of light to sneak in again, and the students in its line shade their eyes. Twitter, twitter, nothing funnier than a lost man. Laden down with items, he manages to hold the door open with his leg. He looks back to the number on the outside of the door and then back to his sheet, the sheet that, if he doesn't grab it that very second, will float to the ground. He makes a move to grab it. Wrong hand. Styrofoam cup of coffee falls to the ground. Closely followed by sheet of paper. Damn it! There they go again, twitter, twitter. Nothing funnier than a lost man who has spilled his coffee and dropped his schedule. "Can I help you?" The lecturer steps down from the podium. Justin brings his entire body back into the classroom, and darkness resumes. "Well, it says here . . . well, it said there"--he nods his head toward the sodden sheet on the ground--"that I have a class here now." "Enrollment for international students is in the exam hall." He frowns. "No, I--" "I'm sorry." She comes closer. "I thought I heard an American accent." She picks up the Styrofoam cup and throws it into the bin, over which a sign reads "No Drinks Allowed." "Ah . . . oh . . . sorry about that." "Graduate students are next door." She adds in a whisper, "Trust me, you don't want to join this class." Justin clears his throat and corrects his posture, tucking the folders tighter under his arm. "Actually, I'm lecturing the History of Art and Architecture class." "You're lecturing?" "Guest lecturing. Believe it or not." He blows his hair up from his sticky forehead. A haircut, remember to get a haircut. There they go again, twitter, twitter. A lost lecturer who's spilled his coffee, dropped his schedule, is about to lose his folders, and needs a haircut. Definitely nothing funnier. "Professor Hitchcock?" "That's me." He feels the folders slipping from under his arm. "Oh, I'm so sorry," she whispers. "I didn't know . . ." She catches a folder for him. "I'm Dr. Sarah Fields from the IBTS. The faculty told me that I could have a half hour with the students before your lecture, your permission pending, of course." "Oh, well, nobody informed me of that, but that's no problemo." Problemo? He shakes his head at himself and makes for the door. Starbucks, here I come. "Professor Hitchcock?" He stops at the door. "Yes." "Would you like to join us?" I most certainly would not. There's a cappuccino and cinnamon muffin with my name on them. No. Just say no. "Um . . . nn-es." Nes? "I mean yes." Twitter, twitter, twitter. Lecturer caught out. Forced into doing something he clearly didn't want to do by attractive young woman in white coat claiming to be a doctor of an unfamiliar initialized organization. "Great. Welcome." She places the folders back under his arm and returns to the podium to address the students. Thanks for the Memories A Novel . Copyright © by Cecelia Ahern . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern, Cecelia Ahern All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.