We've all heard tales of people claiming to have new talents, new tastes, new skills, and new memories after receiving a transplant. Almost as if by giving a piece of yourself to another, they really do gain a part of ... you. But what if this exchange could take place with something as simple as a blood transfusion? I donate blood today, and tomorrow some person in dire need receives it and poof! Suddenly they have vivid memories of me and my life.
Sounds crazy, right?
When I first picked up Cecelia Ahern's "Thanks for the Memories," that's exactly what I thought. But the idea intrigued me--to be connected to someone through blood. And as I've read all of her books and loved them all, I'd grown accustomed to being led through a story where extraordinary things happen to ordinary people living ordinary lives. It's probably what's best about Ahern's writing, especially in this book.
Here lies a story of a thirty-something-year-old Irish woman named Joyce who falls down the stairs and as a result loses her baby. Here lies a story of a man named Justin, deathly afraid of needles, but mans up to donate some blood in order to get a date with the doctor drawing it. She's a Realtor, he's an art lecture/curator/expert. She's on the brink of a divorce, he's already had one. Two perfectly normal people, with perfectly normal stories ... until this blood transfusion. Then these two ordinary lives begin an extraordinary journey as they re-discover themselves and eventually discover each other.
One of the fun things about "Thanks for the Memories" is that Ahern never pretends that knowing someone you've never met and having new abilities is normal. Throughout the book Joyce is sure she is losing her mind as randomly blurts out foreign languages, suddenly likes red mean, and knows more about art and architecture than she ever cared to know. And Justin is just as confused as to how someone knows he saved their live by donating blood... and why they are so keen on thanking him with muffin baskets, tickets to the opera, and picking up his dry cleaning. Knowing that the whole premise is bizarre and having the characters agree with you makes you feel like it just almost, possibly, by some slight chance be less of a "what if" and more of a reality.
"Thanks for the Memories" is a story about loss, love, and the hope found in second chances. How one's life can change another's. And how magical moments often happen at life's crossroads.
Basically, I loved it! :)