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Freckles: The must read new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of PS, I Love You Paperback – 2 September 2021
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About the Author
Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. Her novels have been translated into thirty-five languages and have sold more than twenty-five million copies in over fifty countries. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series.
She and her books have won numerous awards, including the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction for The Year I Met You.
She lives in Dublin with her family.
- Publisher : HarperCollins (2 September 2021); HarperCollins India Private Limited, A-75, Sector 57, Noida, Uttarpradesh - 201301, Tel no : 0120-4044800
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0008439346
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008439347
- Item Weight : 270 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
- Country of Origin : United Kingdom
- Packer : AAJ Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Khasara No 7/24,25/2,8/21, Safiabad Khari Manjat,Gulzar Bhawan, Sonipat - Narela Road, Liwan, Sector 36, Sonipat, Haryana 131001,PHONE: 085869 67796
- Best Sellers Rank: #25,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in India on 5 October 2021
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Top reviews from India
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Told in Allegra's bold and vivid voice, the narrative is very reliable and takes the reader into her life. It is a story of relationships, friendships and human connections but, most of all it is about being comfortable in one's own skin. Allegra is an odd but very relatable and likeable character. Like always, Cecilia gave us an uncomplicated yet layered plot, thoughtfully expressed and simply enchanting.
The story comes to us in first person from Allegra’s point of view.
I’m not a Cecelia Ahern fan. I have read only one book of hers—PS I Love You—and I wasn’t as impressed with it as the rest of the readers seem to be. I opted for this book mainly for two reasons: I wanted to give her another try, and I found the cover cute! No regrets, because the book did click with me.
Where the story worked for me:
• First things first. Why “Freckles”? It sounds like a very light-hearted title for this emotional story, but it actually fits wonderfully. The first reference is to Allegra herself, who has inherited her father’s freckles and is hence nicknamed “Freckles” by her school mates. The title is thus eponymous. But it also stands as a metaphor for the way Allegra tries to find connections with the people in her life, just as she attempted to connect the freckles on her arms in the shape of the constellations during her younger years.
• For a change, the characters were portrayed as per their age. Allegra acted like a twenty-four year old, unsure and underconfident, yet wanting to be an independent adult, gushing over the Garda as it was her lifelong dream to become one, ready to do whatever it takes to turn her life around, even if it involves some questionable decisions. She was a wonderful lead character who knows how to help others but doesn’t know how to help herself. Her character growth is depicted well and quite realistically. She doesn’t stop making mistakes right till the end, but her acceptance of herself, flaws and all, is the differentiating factor. The stranger who shouts at her is also a key character in the book and he is written well too, very true to life.
• I loved how the author used the city of Dublin in Allegra’s narrative. So many books mention the names the story is set in but they hardly go beyond mentioning a couple of local sights. This book doesn’t provide the touristy version; rather, it gives a resident’s view into the functioning of the city. I enjoyed that authentic sound. (Author Cecelia Ahern’s being Irish helps, of course.)
• In spite of looking and sounding like a chick lit (because of the cover and title respectively), the book is quite reflective. When Allegra starts brooding over the five people, you actually feel for her. As it is a famous quote by Jim Rohn and not just something made up for the book, you will definitely mull over its accuracy and wonder how it applies in your life. Thus there is a thoughtful undertone to this seemingly light story.
• While the book is predictable to a great extent (which women’s fiction isn’t?), I admired how it didn’t succumb to the romance trope. “Boy and girl means boy falls in love with girl and vice versa”. Not in this book, no. I found that very refreshing.
Where the story could have worked better for me:
• It was very slow. While I understand why it was so many pages long (evaluating the five people that exist in your life and the ones you want in your life can’t be a quick process), I imagine it would be tedious to go through the dead end characters while actually reading. Having the audiobook helped me tremendously.
• Some of the side tracks are left incomplete. While this doesn’t impact Allegra’s narrative much, I would have liked to know more about those subplots. Of course, I appreciate this decision partly too because not everything in life is sorted out at once. So in a way, this works for the book too. Because we know that there are still things that Allegra needs to handle and yet, she has found her peace with herself at the end. So this is in the ‘mixed feelings’ category and not much of a negative point.
All in all, this is like a YA coming-of-age story and it will click with you if you are in the mood for a slow burn, sensible, contemporary fiction with likeable yet vulnerable leads.
Allegra Bird forever wants to join the Garda but works as a parking warden in Dublin. Her dad is her only strength as her mom abandoned her when she was a child.
She’s always been insecure about her freckles but she’s made a forever universe within it now!
When the stranger insults Allegra she starts to contemplate about her life and decisions and starts thriving to improve her life and surroundings.
I was captivated with the detailed writing style of Cecelia, how beautifully and finely each character was incorporated in Freckles story.
Freckles might not be likeable all the time but I would definitely want to be in her five!
The book made me want to visit Ireland, the whole setting and vibe of the location was surreal!
The story got a but predictable towards the end but I couldn’t think of a better ending anyway so i was fully into it throughout!
Did i give a thought about the five people in my life? Definitely, Yes!
And did it make sense to me? Absolutely!
This book is completely heartbreaking yet so beautiful! Not my go to genre but i cherished each word of this one!
Thank you @harpercollinsin for this review copy and for introducing me to this glorious piece of word art!
Top reviews from other countries
The author has written the book from the perspective of Allegra Bird, a.k.a. Freckles. Allegra is a unique individual, and although it is never confirmed, I believe her to be autistic.
Allegra religiously sticks to her daily routine and enjoys the stability it provides her. That is until one day when she has an unkind encounter with a young man named Tristan. Tristan tells her that ‘everyone is the average of five people they spend the most time with’ and states that it ‘doesn’t say much about the company you keep’. The comment consumes her thoughts, and she starts to unravel whilst attempting to make sense of what he said and decipher who her five people are.
It took me a while to get into this book. Primarily because the first few chapters revolve around Allegra’s job as a traffic warden, but I also found the lack of speech marks to be off-putting. However, once the story developed, I began to enjoy the storyline and warmed to the characters.
I didn’t dislike it, but at the same time, it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me either.
Allegra Bird was raised in Ireland by her single father. Despite life not being easy, Allegea is now a traffic warden who enjoys her job even the many run ins she has with the public gives her some pleasure. However, Allegra is struggling in. Her world with feelings of loneliness, detachment, and dealing with the everyday problems of life.
Allegra then meets a man who tells her that are products of five people around us. This gets Allegra thinking, and she starts to work on identifying these five people who may help her life become better.
An easy to read novel with a lot of heartbreak and a few tears. I rate this book a 4 star read.