If you could see me now – Book Review

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You are living your plain busy life, full of problems and pain that you don’t want to share. Suddenly, someone enters it from nowhere, literally nowhere; stirs it up, adds colours to it, which first you could not see and later, the rest of the world. However, the change that has been brought by that ‘someone’ remains with you, even if you doubt its very own existence. ‘If you could see me now’, Cecelia Ahern’s third novel, is a psychologically possible fairytale. ‘Fairytale’ because it is unreal yet, it makes the reader to believe in it.

The novel is about Ivan, who is carefree, full of life, loves making friends and his favourite game is spinning on the chair; and Elizabeth who is organised, lonely, burdened with responsibilities and has no colours in her life. The story is narrated from the perspective of both lead characters, Elizabeth Egan & Ivan. The contrasting nature of their personalities and life makes the narrative beautiful. It has much more than what can possibly be explained with words if, the reader could get into the shoes of the characters.

Elizabeth’s life was totally messed up when she meets Ivan. She had her own business of interior designing to run in a small town, Baile nag Croithe. She was the mother of Saoirse’s 6-year-old son, Luke. Though she doesn’t really know what a mother is like because her own mother left her when she was young. Saoirse remains out and intoxicated for major part of the day, and has taken absolutely no responsibility of her son. Therefore, Elizabeth has to take care of her business, father, sister and her son all by herself while ignoring her own life.

When Ivan entered into Luke’s life he didn’t expect to meet Elizabeth but, he does and experiences things he thought were not meant for him. Everything about being with Elizabeth was different than usual yet, he enjoyed being with her. He helps Elizabeth to disentangle a few a chords of her past but ends up entangling some for him and for her.

The novel explores the fear inside human beings because of a particular event in past and the degree of its affect on present and future. It teaches to free ourselves rather than to hold on to things one cannot control. It teaches you to be a little insane so that you enjoy every bit the beautiful gift, Life.
Set in the Irish background, it explores the beautiful country in an unconventional manner. Unconventional because it doesn’t talk about the eye-pleasing landscapes, instead it takes up the hardships and simplicity that a small town, Baile nag Croithe, endures. The novel is a logical fantasy but, do not confuse it with a science fiction. Though, it can be reasoned by some psychological concepts and principal.

Cecelia has once again been successful in writing a wonderful love story with some lovely and memorable sequences between Elizabeth and Ivan. She has recreated the magic of ‘P.S. I love you’ & ‘Where Rainbow ends’. She is the ultimate writer for her fans when it comes to romantic genre. Like her other titles, ‘If you could see me now’ also has the infallible interest grabbing element, Love.

It’s a novel that might take some time to arouse reader’s interest, first 20-40 pages maybe hard to read, but when it does it holds reader’s interest and attention until the end. In short, it becomes captivating. One reason for such quality is that everything is open and clear for the reader but not for the characters. It plays upon the reader’s anxiety very well. Those who like novels that have a feel good effect will definitely adore this work.

Shikha Nehra

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