Life in the Fast Lane


Love In The Time of Cyberspace

By 4:49 PM , , , , , , , , ,

Everyone must know of (or heard of, at least) Cecelia Ahern's immensely popular P.S. I Love You; the film version of which featured Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. We mourned along with Holly when the love of her life, Gerry died. But we rejoiced with her every mini-success, which were largely due to Gerry's love notes, revealed in sequential order the year after he died.

I've since come across a couple of Ahern's other novels. But the other night, while killing time in a bookstore (which, by the way, I really enjoy doing), I picked up Love, Rosie. I had not seen this title on the shelves before, so I was intrigued. The synopsis printed on the back cover seemed interesting enough; as someone who enjoys writing letters and emails to loved ones and friends, I thought that this was something I could relate with.
"Rosie and Alex are destined for each other, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, they are separated as teenagers when Alex and his family relocate from Dublin to Boston. Like two ships always passing in the night, Rosie and Alex stay friends, and though years pass, the two remain firmly attached via e-mails and letters. Heartbroken, they learn to live without each other. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel of several missed opportunities, Rosie and Alex learn that fate isn't done with them quite yet."
I started reading it last night and in a few hours, I was done. I'm not sure if it was because the style of this particular book was easy to digest, or because I'm a fast reader. Maybe both.

Love, Rosie isn't written the way every other novel is written: a lengthy explanation about the characters, the setting, the plot, the resolution. Here, we start off with Rosie and Alex writing to each other in class as seven-year-olds. We see the progression of time as their spelling improves (except Alex will never "no" the difference between "know" and "no") and as the format of their letter-writing changes — from note-passing in class to snail mail, email, SMS, chats, etc.

In fact, the whole novel is written as a series of exchanges. Never once do you actually know that, say, Rosie is slim, has wild brown hair, and prefers sneakers over pumps. However, you don't miss such character/plot descriptions, because you can instantly get into the characters' mindsets given the letter-writing format.

The ending is predictable (in fact, you'll have an idea of what the eventual resolution will be after reading the first few pages), but how things will end up is what you look forward to.

Without giving anything away, I have to say that the characters are an enjoyable bunch (I enjoyed getting to know them, so to speak) and I enjoyed witnessing their progression through time by way of their exchanges.

In fact, the relationships that Rosie has (Love, Rosie does revolve around her, mainly) remind me a lot of how my girl friends and I keep in touch nowadays. Through WhatsApp!

A snippet of one of the many conversations that can take place throughout the day.
It's a blessing to have technology bridge the time and space gap.

Pick up a copy of Love, Rosie if you want something light and feel-good. It's a fun read, and after a long and tiring day at work, it's a nice way to end the day.

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