By Melissa Amster
I am a huge fan of two Irish chick lit authors: Marian Keyes and Cecelia Ahern.
I was drawn to Marian Keyes when I read “Watermelon” over 10 years ago. I loved the story and couldn’t put it down. She proceeded to write about the main character’s sisters in a few of her other novels. She still has yet to write about Helen, who seems fun and interesting. She also writes other novels involving a set of friends or women (and sometimes men) drawn together by a common circumstance. Her last book (“This Charming Man”) and current book (“The Brightest Star in the Sky”) seem to explore the latter set. I love her writing style and her books flow so well. She makes them all nearly impossible to put down! I’m always thrilled to find other Marian Keyes fans who get why I think she’s such a great author. I recently read "The Brightest Star..." and really enjoyed it. I've heard that she's taking time off from writing for personal reasons, but I hope she'll come back to it someday and finally give her readers a story about Helen Walsh!
As for Cecelia Ahern, I first saw “P.S. I Love You” at the bookstore in 2004. I was newly married and didn’t want to read a story about someone losing their husband. Almost a year later, I came across “Rosie Dunne” (now known as “Love, Rosie”) at the library and enjoyed it from start to finish. It was a cute and light story. The following year, I picked up “If You Could See Me Now” and read it quickly, as I fell in love with the story. After reading two good books from this author, I decided to give “P.S. I Love You” a try. I wasn’t disappointed and felt I could handle the topic better than I expected. It was such a warmly told, heartfelt story. I wasn’t happy with how the movie changed so much around. (For example: Holly, the main character, had such a huge and crazy family and the movie just showed us her mom and sister.) Over the last couple of years, I read “There’s No Place Like Here” and “Thanks for the Memories.” Both were cute stories, but I liked the latter better. “There’s No Place…” just seemed to end too abruptly for my tastes. Aside from her first two books, Cecelia Ahern manages to write stories that have more of a fantasy or fairy-tale feel. They still have a fun chick-lit tone, but they definitely stand out from most books in that genre. I look forward to reading “The Gift” soon, as well as any other fun stories that she plans to come out with in the future.