Freckles – Cecelia Ahern

Five people.
Five chances.
One woman’s search for happiness.

Allegra Bird’s arms are scattered with freckles, a gift from her beloved father. But despite her nickname, Freckles has never been able to join all the dots. So when a stranger tells her that everyone is the average of the five people they spend the most time with, it opens up something deep inside.

The trouble is, Freckles doesn’t know if she has five people. And if not, what does that say about her? She’s left her unconventional father and her friends behind for a bold new life in Dublin, but she’s still an outsider.

Now, in a quest to understand, she must find not one but five people who shape her – and who will determine her future.

Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from modern Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and of growing into your own skin.

About Cecelia:

After completing a degree in Journalism and Media Communications, Cecelia wrote her first novel at 21 years old. Her debut novel, PS I Love You was published in January 2004, and was followed by Where Rainbows End (aka Love, Rosie) in November 2004. Both novels were adapted to films; PS I Love You starred Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, and Love, Rosie starred Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.

Cecelia has published a novel every year since then and to date has published 17 novels; PS I Love You, Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now, A Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories, The Gift, The Book of Tomorrow, The Time of My Life, One Hundred Names, How To Fall in Love, The Year I Met You, The Marble Collector, Flawed, Perfect, Lyrebird, ROAR and Postscript.

To date, Cecelia’s books have sold 25 million copies internationally, are published in over 40 countries, in 30 languages.

Along with writing novels, Cecelia has co-created the US ABC Comedy Samantha Who? and has created many other original TV projects.

Cecelia’s latest release, Roar is now in development by Nicole Kidman and Per Saari’s Blossom Films, Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories and Theresa Park’s Per Capita Productions, along with Ahern’s own Greenlight Go Productions label.

My Review:

I haven’t read a book by Cecelia since PS, I Love You in 2008 and when Anne Cater was talking about this book on our recent Hot Books episode, I was intrigued and thought why not? I decided to listen to this on audible and it was wonderfully narrated by Amy McAllister.

The audible book is 10 hours and 2 minutes and, honestly, it flew by. I love quirky female characters and Allegra Bird is charmingly quirky in an innocent and delightful way.

Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, was abandoned by her Spanish mother at birth and raised by her father, Pops in a tiny island on Ireland’s coast. She has spent most of her life at boarding schools whilst her father worked or in the small village. Having dreamt of working for the Gardai since she was a child and becoming a detective, she chooses to become a Traffic Warden when she fails the Gardai exams.

Five months ago she decides to leave her beloved Pops, friends, family and boyfriend for a new life in Dublin and the listener follows her journey both literally and emotionally.

An encounter with an angry motorist she has ticketed stuns Allegra into re-evaluating her life when he tells her “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Now she sets off to change her 5 people and select those who can shape and determine her future the best.

Allegra narrates the entire story (well Amy McAllister does), and her charm, innocence, honesty and determination to better herself is touching and moving.

A wonderful 10 hours escape from reality which leaves the listener full of hope.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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