Fantasy, Romance, or Both - The Novels of Cecelia Ahern

What is fantasy?

If you ask most people, you will get an answer that has to do with supernatural beings, make believe worlds, magic, witchcraft, and, let’s not forget, something good winning over something evil. There are any number of books written that are classified fantasy that fulfill all these things, many of which I’ve read and enjoyed. But fantasy covers more than just these larger than life stories. There is also the smaller, less overwhelming and whimsical fantasy. This is the area into which I believe the books of Cecelia Ahern, one of my very favorite authors, fall.


About Ms. Ahern

Cecelia Ahern is a young Irish author who writes romance novels laced with fantasy or, to my thinking, fantasy laced with romance. She was born in Dublin, Ireland, on September 30, 1981, graduated from Griffith College Dublin with a degree in Journalism and Media Communications, and wrote her first novel when she was twenty-one. For a more comprehensive biography, visit the Cecelia Ahern page on There you will also find the most current listing of her works in the order they were published.


PS I Love You

My first exposure to Ms. Ahern was the movie “PS I Love You”. This is the poignant story of a young widow who is sent on a series of ‘missions’ by her dead husband. By accomplishing each mission she works her way out of her devastating grief back to where she can face life again. Having recently lost my husband, the story had a huge impact on me. I decided I would seek out the book and read it so after a minor amount of research to discover the author, off I went to the library to find the book.

At the Library...

I discovered “PS I Love You” on the shelf but it wasn’t alone. There were a number of other books by Ms. Ahern surrounding it. I picked up the book but looked back at the others on the shelf. My thoughts were swinging back and forth between, “Read one of the other ones” to “Read this one” to “Don’t ruin the movie by reading the book”. The last thought won out and I put “PS I Love You” back and picked up one of her other books, “Thanks for the Memories”.


Thanks for the Memories

At this point I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. While I enjoyed the other story, I had only seen the movie, not read the book and we all know how much movie makers enjoy changing stories and characters. It turned out there was no cause for worry I was hooked by the second page. This story falls even further into the fantasy category with a story line that has the recipient of a blood transfusion discovering she has memories that aren’t hers. The story continues with the donor and recipient eventually meeting without knowing their connection. The final outcome of the story may be predictable but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. In fact, it is because of the ending that I continued to pick up books by Ms. Ahern.


There's No Place Like Here

My next sojourn into the fantasy world of Ms. Ahern was “There’s No Place Like Here” (also known as “A Place Called Here”). This story takes you to the place where everything that has ever been lost (socks, luggage, people, etc.) goes. The heroine is obsessed with finding things and one day while in the middle of a search she finds herself lost. In one respect, the answer to her life of searching is answered but in another she discovers the same thing little Dorothy discovered in “The Wizard of Oz”, there’s no place like home.


The Fantasy Continues...

The novels continue with stories that include an invisible friend who isn’t really invisible,

a diary that contains the events of the next day,

and a woman being followed around by her Life in the form of a scruffy old man.


My Personal Favorite

“The Gift” is a Christmas story that is typical for Christmas stories. Person obsessed with work, ignoring family and friends, disappointing same family and friends, and being a general all around not very nice person. Then through circumstances or events metamorphoses into a good, loving person who is a joy to know. On a bare bones level, that is this story. The difference is that it is presented with that warm-hearted fantasy that is the trademark of Cecelia Ahern. It is a wonderfully crafted story with so much promise and hope and exactly what you want during the Christmas holiday. There are two surprises in this book. First, the gift is not what the reader expects it to be and second, the final resolution will break your heart. It is one of my favorites though and I have given copies to a number of my friends.

Just a Few

These are just a few of the heartwarming and thought provoking stories created by Ms. Ahern. Also included in her novels are stories with no fantasy involved at all and while all of her writing is good, I do prefer that touch of fantasy. Whichever way you lean, one thing that is guaranteed about the novels of Cecelia Ahern is that they are all different and very well written. Each story is unique, imaginative, and entertaining. I hope everyone enjoys her books as much as I do.

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