From Publishers Weekly
In her third novel, Ahern (P.S., I Love You
and Love, Rosie
) employs an imaginary best friend to breathe distinctiveness into an otherwise stereotypical Irish tale. Living in her own house in a small, posh Irish town, 35-year-old Elizabeth Egan is an uptight interior designer and adoptive mother to her six-year-old nephew, Luke, whose mother, Elizabeth's 23-year-old sister, Saoirse, prefers boozing to parenting. Saoirse's behavior reminds Elizabeth of a painful past—the alcoholic mother who abandoned the family, leaving Elizabeth to care for her baby sister and forgo her own childhood, and the emotionally distant, controlling father still waiting for his wife's return. Unlike the other women in her family, Elizabeth adheres to a fastidiously well-ordered existence—no mess, no complications, no love. But all that changes with the arrival of Ivan, a goofy and spontaneous man intent on infusing much-needed fun and tenderness into Elizabeth's frigid persona. The catch is no one can see this ageless man from the land of "Ekam Eveileb" save Elizabeth and her nephew. Through Ivan, Elizabeth becomes the woman she's always been too afraid to be. He helps her reclaim the childhood she never had and, most importantly, to forgive those who have let her down. Ahern tempers heartbreak with hope and playfulness in this uplifting, sentimental tale. (Jan.)
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Ahern's charming third novel takes an imaginative twist, literally, as one of the main characters in her novel is an invisible friend, Ivan. Ivan befriends six-year-old Luke Egan, who is being raised by his aunt Elizabeth. Luke's mother, Saoirse, is 12 years Elizabeth's junior and very much like their flighty mother, who ran off and left Elizabeth and Saoirse with their cold father. Serious, grounded Elizabeth all but raised her sister, and now she's doing the same with her nephew. Elizabeth is distressed when Luke starts talking to his invisible friend Ivan, but it is Ivan who is truly puzzled when it seems as though Elizabeth can sense his presence. And then Elizabeth actually sees him, although she believes he's the father of Luke's friend, Sam. Ivan decides to get to know her, but things become complicated when Elizabeth and Ivan begin to fall in love. An imaginative twist on romantic comedy, Ahern's novel should have appeal among readers looking to move beyond the usual fare. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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