When they are seven years old Rosie and Alex meet and become best friends. For the next nine years they are in and out of trouble. They are always earning detention together and their parents are called in for school meetings. When she is 16 they skip school, become drunk, and she falls, hits her head and needs stitches. Then his father gets a new job in Boston - across the ocean. But they promise to visit. When Rosie finishes school she plans to go to college in Boston. Alex plans to come back to take her to her debs (in the U.S. we call it a prom).
But things go awry. Rosie has to give up college and stay in Dublin. Alex goes on to school, earning a medical degree at Harvard. He marries; she marries; they both have children. Yet through all this they remain best friends. At times it looks like it will be more, but other than a special moment of silence between them, they go on supporting each other through life's ups and downs. Will there ever be a time that is right for the two of them?
Rosie Dunne is a charming, poignant, frustrating tale. This is one of those stories where if one or the other had ever bothered to tell the whole truth, their lives could have been very different. More than once I wanted to yell at either of them.
Cecelia Ahern uses the device of email, letters, instant messaging, and other text formats to tell Rosie and Alex's story. The messages are between Rosie and Alex, Rosie and her family, Rosie and her friend Ruby, Alex and his brother, their children as they get acquainted, postcards, invitations, and other people who influence their lives. Rosie's life isn't easy but she "keeps soldiering on", finally getting to that place she dreamed of as a small girl.
Chick lit? I suppose Rosie Dunne is that. But it has some depth because Rosie doesn't have a picture perfect life and Rosie's and Alex's love isn't passionately declared when they are still young. They both have living to do, and the bumps in Rosie's path seem like mountains at times. It's an easy read that keeps the reader pulled in, even if it is only because of wanting to knock their heads together and instill some sense into them.
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