The year that changed my life
For Jasmine, losing her job felt like losing everything.
The year I found home
With a life built around her career and her beloved sister Heather, suddenly her world becomes the house and garden she has hardly seen and the neighbours she has yet to meet.
The year I met you
But being fired is just the beginning. In the year that unfolds Jasmine learns more about herself than she could ever imagine – and more about other people that she ever dreamed. Sometimes friendship is found in the most unexpected of places.
The first thing that struck me about this book was the front cover, oh my it is so beautiful. I was in Waterstone’s looking for a book to take on holiday with me and when I saw the bright blues and yellows and the pretty little illustration on the front I had to have it. It wasn’t till I got closer and picked it up that I realised the author was Cecelia Ahern and then I was absolutely smitten with it.
Cecelia Ahern is an Irish author and I am a huge fan of her books (P.S I Love You, If You Could See Me Now and How To Fall In Love are my personal favourites) so I obviously had high expectations for it knowing how amazing of a writer she is, and trust me I was not disappointed.
This book was released in October last year, which shocked me as I hadn’t heard about it until now – probably because it was released so soon after How To Fall In Love that I didn’t assume she would be releasing another the year after. Though this copy that I have myself with the beautiful summer colours was released in June this year – which I am so thankful for because if it wasn’t for the cover I would never have known about it.
The storyline of the book is just so magical and like in of all of Ahern’s books, it is set in Ireland. As you can tell by the blurb, the main character Jasmine (named after the flower) loses her job and has been giving a “sentence” (as she refers to it as) of 12 months gardening leave – which means you are unable to work for another company in the same field of work you were employed in. Due to this we see her character is quite dull, depressing and bored as she has been thrown out of her usual routine and honestly doesn’t have a clue what to do with herself.
I can see a lot of myself in Jasmine and I think that is why I enjoyed reading this so much. The thing I love about Jasmine the most is how fierce she and stubborn she is in the beginning to everybody else but her down syndrome sister Heather, but throughout the book she really blossoms (you get it, like a flower?) into such a loveable character, which she says is down to one person.
Said person lives across the road from her and is a radio presenter of a show she used to listen to when she was younger – which we learn she has a grudge against him for because in one of his shows he and his guests were offensive in reference to down syndrome which upset Jasmine terribly.
Both of them lose their jobs at the same time which gives them enough in common to spark up a hate/love friendship which is consistent throughout the book. It ties key themes such as friendship and loneliness together and teaches you that you can’t live your life on a judgement of somebody, as your judgement may just be wrong.
This is not a love story, it is a story of how friendship and how it can come from the strangest of places – and it is absolutely beautiful
I strongly recommend you read it as I was literally unable to put it down and I was most upset when I had reached the end because I really connected with it, which I haven’t done with a book for ages.
Thank you Cecelia Ahern for once again making a book so magical with the power of your words.
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