WHERE RAINBOWS END
By Cecelia Ahern
I dislike the term "chick-lit" but that's what some people call novels like this one.
The good news is this book is well written. It has a story that is anchored firmly on the ground of reality.
I enjoyed reading this book but don't let my more macho male friends know about it!! Otherwise, they will kick me out of their Boys Club.
IN THE mid `90s, a particular genre of writing emerged that was later to
be labelled as chick lit. Personally, I find the description offensive. It
casts a shadow of aspersion on what is often good writing by young women.
Where Rainbows End belongs to this category that has become increasingly
popular among young, upward mobile professional women. It has been
suggested that such books are the products of the fecund imagination of
young women working in the publishing industry.
Helen Fieldings' Bridget Jones's Diary, Emma McLaughlin and Nicole
Krause's Nanny Diaries, and Melissa Banks's The Girl's Guide to Hunting
and Fishing are some of the best selling titles.
Cecelia Ahern's major success was her debut novel P.S. I Love You. It
wouldn't have caused such a stir if she had not been the 23-year-old
daughter of Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.
The fact that she comes from such an illustrious lineage only adds to
her growing popularity.
Where Rainbow Ends is a refreshingly good read. For someone who has
unconsciously avoided such books most of his life, I now readily admit
that it has opened up yet another vista in the understanding of the
evolving world of literature.
Basically, the story is about two best friends, Rosie and Alex, who met
when they were five and seven respectively. The story of their lives
meanders through and around their lives and those close to them for a
little more than 40 years.
In time, they found out that they love each other but somehow things get
in the way and love loses its bearing. At a crucial moment, half way
through the book, Alex professes his love for Rosie in a letter. It
naturally falls into the wrong hands and does not reach its re-surface in
the presence of its actual recipient until years later.
Cecelia has spun a tale that mirrors some real-life cases. Personally, I
am aware of two such star-crossed lives whose genuine love never ran its
The subplots of this book are so true to life that one suspects that
Cecelia has either experienced some of them or has heard about them from
her friends, relatives and colleagues.
Being a first timer of a book written by a young woman for young women,
I feel almost a little guilty in learning more than I should about the
heartaches, uncertain ambitions and the excited beatings of a woman's
I dare say it has made me a little more "sensitive", a term which is
often directed by misguided young men at misunderstood young women. At the
risk of being dishonourably booted out of the He-Men's club, I am
suggesting that perhaps it would make for more loving and meaningful
relationships if more laddies take a mental dip into the pool of chick
The story of Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, of course, ends on a happy
note. It takes quite a while before Destiny finally relents and lets love
The moral of the whole story is simple. When you love someone dearly and
sincerely, don't be afraid to say so. Say it before your knees get wobbly
and you need a walking stick. Listen to your heart, and tell him or her
those three wonderful words and watch the heavens open.
For an Irish lass who also happens to be quite pretty (her picture on
the inside cover), Cecelia has done remarkably well in her first two
novels. I guess a degree in journalism helps in no small way.
Young, professional women already know what this kind of books is all
about, so I won't recommend it to them. I look in the direction of my
peers. I believe that picking up a copy of one of the best sellers which I
have mentioned, at their own time and convenience, as well as discretion,
will go some way in improving their understanding of women.
It may well add some sparkle to their personality. It may even make
their mothers proud when they find out what fine young men their sons have
turned out to be.