REVIEW: "To the Moon and Back" by Jill Mansell

Kindle Cover: "To the Moon and Back" by: Jill Mansell
It's been only a few years now that I was first introduced to "The ladies across the Pond" Chick-Lit (I used to say UK until I was immediately corrected by an author, ever since this is the terminology I have adopted....). Chick-lit was a new genre for me, having only read Mary Kay Andrews briefly before reading the lovely books of Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell and eventually Milly Johnson.  There are many other authors that I absolutely adore, but these ladies in my mind are like the Meryl Streep's of writing chick lit.

This was a Re-Read for me.  While I am an avid reader and can read sometimes a book a day, it really does take a lot to be able to capture my attention.  That is why these lovely ladies are my "fall back". I always know if I can't break through another book, I can count on them to keep my attention.

So, the first time I read it, I honestly couldn't pay much attention.  I was in recovery (that's a whole other blog ). So, being in recovery, my attention span was at an all time low and add to that a job taking care of adults who needed assistance (at night time on top of it all), I honestly don't think that it all really sunk in.

So, I decided to give it another go.  I am certainly glad that I did.  Now, it honestly wasn't my favorite of Ms Mansell's works, but it was love able just the same.

In the story, we first meet Ellie Kendall as she and her husband Jamie are about to each go their separate ways for an evening with friends.  We instantly can feel the love for one another that these two share.  Of course you know before you ever open the book that Ellie's husband dies, so it is no surprise when he does very shortly into the story.

The story fast forwards to 15 months later and we find Ellie not moving forward.  Ellie, while overcome with her loss, isn't a droopy character that you find unlikeable or unreal.  Even when she sees and talks to Jamie, her deceased husband, it's on no way cheesy or over the top.  You can really feel the love she has and can empathize with her plight at losing her husband.  She remains close to Her father-in-law, who also happens to be a famous actor.  There relationship is what you would hope to have with your in-laws, should your loved one pass on.  This relationship was one of my favorite parts throughout the whole story.  Everyone should have a father in law as wonderful as Tony.

In the very beginning, we meet Todd, Jamie's very dear, but very single best friend.  It was Todd that Jamie had been with when tragedy struck.  So while Todd is struggling with survivors guilt, Ellie struggles with Todd being alive and Jamie not.  It's not that she's angry at him, but every time she sees him it's very painful. Which I find pretty understandable. I could perhaps see myself hitting my fists on his chest and telling him ,why not you!  So I get it!

Ok, see this is where I start just wanting to continue to tell you everything about the story.  Ok will make myself stop.  So, other fab characters we meet along the way are, Roo an aging has-been pop-star (who couldn't carry a tune to save her life). She definitely provides some fun, upbeat moments and she's a super fun character.  You even love her despite the fact that she's made some not very wise choices.  We also meet Martha a lady who is a little more beyond her years than our central characters.  Martha is an artist and we find that she has been keeping a secret.

There are of course other characters and believe me, O could go into detail about them all.  To the Moon and Back is about Ellie's life after her husbands death and going along with her during her grieving process.  We get to watch her once again start to live her life and enjoy it.

I found this book totally relatable on the sense that you could imagine that if you were the one who had lost a husband. It's a book that makes you feel sad,  there are even a few parts that might make you mad, but there are a lot of parts that make you laugh and at the end, it's tied in a nice bow for us, with our happy ever after.

Ms Mansell is sable to so vividly conjure up these characters, that you instantly feel a connection to them.  They are most always, loveable and usually quirky characters who generally are very flawed.  I think that's one reason I am drawn to these books, for one, there is almost always my happy ending I long for.  Secondly, the characters are all fallible.  Being an extremely fallible person myself, I like to be able to somewhat be able to relate to the characters in a book or at the very least wish that O was living their life.

Jill Mansell transports you from your nice, cozy living room into the Cotswolds or whichever village she takes you next.  I have even created a Pinterest board to "pin" my view of Englad, etc based on the writings of my favorite authors.  I honestly cannot convey enough how wonderful These books are.  I truly hope that I am able to help others discover these fab authors and their brilliant works. Now, please keep in mind that this is escapism chick-lit.  They aren't the books that give graphic love scenes, nor are they the type that are trying to go for a Pulitizer Prize.  It's just good, clean and fun romantic comedy chick-lit!  I hope that if you are reading, you will at least give Ms Mansell a go!  I seriously doubt you would be disappointed!!  Please forgive my grammatical and punctuation problems. That's why I could never be a write, nor an editor.  Too many mistakes.  Plus auto-correct seems to change my words without my knowledge....

Please if you have read some of Jill Mansell's works comment and tell me what you thought!


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