Love, Rosie (Where Rainbows End): My Book Review and Lots of Notables

After watching the movie “Love, Rosie” (as suggested by all my sisters) and loved it.  My little sister suggested I read the book as the movie is missing out a lot.  It took me a long time to finish it but as my little sister is always right, it is indeed one of the best romance book I’ve ever read.

The author of “Love, Rosie” is Cecelia Ahern.  She is also the author of "P.S. I Love You" which is set in Ireland too.  I also watched the movie of “P.S. I Love You” but it didn’t leave any lasting impressions upon me like this one.

As the book is so good, I just had to write about it and etch it as a milestone.

 The entire book is a documentation of correspondence or communication between the characters via email, letters, text, instant messaging, phone etc.

The main characters is Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart.  But, it also has a mini story on Rosie’s Daughter Katie as well.  (This is not delved into in the movie).  Yes! Their story lasts that long that it overlaps with Rosie’s love story already.

The book opened my insights to many things and these are:
  1. The hardship doctors go through.
Related quote from the book:
“College is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. There’s just so much studying to do; so much reading. I barely have a social life. I’ve got four years here in Harvard then I’ve to do about five to seven years in a general surgical residency so I’m estimating that I’ll be fully qualified in my specialized field (whatever that will be) by the time I’m one hundred years old.
So that’s all I do here. I wake up at five a.m. and study. Go to college, come home and study. Every day. Not much more to report really. It’s really tough. But then I don’t need to tell you that. I bet it’s a hell of a lot easier than what you’re doing right now. Anyway, I’m going to sleep now, I’m shattered. Sweet dreams to you and baby Katie.”

2.    How mothers sacrifice their life and dreams for their kids.

Related quote from the book:
Rosie: “Well I’m an incredibly frustrated woman right now. And I’m not “wasting” good opportunities; it’s called “presenting my daughter with new ones.”

3.    Anyone can make mistakes and we can’t judge them.  
I have to admit, I used to have a negative impression on people who go through double divorce.  I used to think they are not taking marriage seriously but perhaps, they are just lonely.

Rosie is smart yet she can’t seem to get her life right.  She has made a lot of mistakes.  As a reader, you can’t help but sympathize especially when:
  • She got pregnant at 17.
  • She got cheated by Greg and got a divorce.
  •  She sacrificed moving to Boston to Alex for Katie to be with Brian the Whine.
Alex turned out to be a successful heart surgeon but the truth is his life is really sad and he can fool the world but not himself about it.  As a reader, you can’t help but sympathize especially when:
  • He got married to Sally Gruber, have Josh and get a divorce.
  • Marries Bethany, have Theo, get through 15 years of a miserable relationship (hoping to make it work until Theo moves out for college) and get a divorce.
I agree on these perspectives:
1.    “Age is just a number, not a state of mind or a reason for any type of particular behaviour.” 

Related quote from the book:
Ruby: “Katie is not going to go off the rails because suddenly she wakes up one morning and she’s 16. People do whatever the hell they want to do at any age they fancy. Last month you were 36. That means you’re 4 years from 40. Do you think that the day you reach 40 you will be any different than you were at 39 or 41 for that matter? People create little ideas about ages so they can write silly self-help books, stick stupid comments in birthday cards, create names for Internet chat rooms, and look for excuses for crises that are happening in their life.
For example the man’s so called “midlife crisis” is just a bunch of hype. Age is not the problem; it’s the male brain that’s the problem.  Men have been cheating since they were apes (insert your own joke there), since cavemen times (and again there) all the way up to now, the age of what is supposed to be the civilized man. That’s the way they were made. Age is not the issue.”

2.    “Parents are our barometers of emotions for children and it has a domino effect.”

Related quote from the book:
Rosie: “There’s something completely unnerving about seeing your parents upset. I suppose it’s because they’re supposed to be the strong ones, but that’s not just it. Ever since people are kids they use their parents as some sort of measurement for how bad a situation is. When you fall on the ground really hard and you can’t figure out whether it hurts or not you look to your parents. If they look worried and rush toward you, you cry. If they laugh and smack the ground saying “Bold ground,” then you pick yourself up and get on with it.”

3.    “Life deals each of us a different set of cards…”

4.    Human life is an irony in itself.

Related quote from the book:
Rosie: “Well we’re not exactly 20 years old are we?”
Ruby: “No thank god for that because if that was the case I would have to go through a shit marriage and a divorce all over again. We would have to go out and look for jobs, be all uncertain about our lives, care about dating and how we look and what car we’re driving, what music we’re playing in it, what we wear, whether we’ll get into certain clubs or not bla bla bla bla. What’s so good about being 20? I call them the materialistic years. The years we get distracted by all the bullshit. Then we cope on when we hit our 30s and spend those years trying to make up for the 20s. But your 40s? Those years are for enjoying it.”
Rosie: “Hmmm good point. What are the 50s for?”
Ruby: “Fixing what you fucked up on in your 40s.”

6.    A mother’s presence is important in one’s life. Rosie: “xxx Life is strange now. Before even when she lay in bed looking frail and weak she still managed to make me feel safe. Mothers do that don’t they? Their very presence can help. And even if I ended up mothering her in the final days, she still was taking care of me. I miss her.”

Moral Lesson of the Entire Book: 
Don’t Confess Over Letters No Matter How Beautifully Written!!!  Man up guys!

Alex wrote this letter to Rosie (her 30th birthday) and it was received 12 years later (she was 42 and Alex is married) due to interception.

I’m returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing into this pen and I’m leaving this letter for you so that you don’t feel that I’m putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say.  I know what’s going on, Rosie; you’re my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I know that Greg isn’t away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Don’t pretend that everything is perfect because I see what’s going on. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick.  He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn’t deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with, and if you’re OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing on air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of getting scared and being too afraid to try.  I am not scared anymore Rosie. I am not afraid to try.  I know what that feeling was at your wedding—it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, another man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me. Years ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to.  Twice we stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. But we got it all wrong.  I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston.  I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh.
Please think about it. Don’t waste your time on Greg, this is our opportunity. Let’s stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I’ll make you happy.
All my love,

Favorite quotes:
  • “Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a quick few minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?  Everything is spinning around us, jobs, family, friends, lovers . . . you just feel like screaming “STOP!” 
  • “Children need close friends to help them grow up, to discover things about themselves and about life. They also need close friends to keep them sane” – Well, not just children.  Adults like me too. =)
  • “I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”
  • “That's what life is about: People come and go.”
  • “There aren’t many sure things in life, but one thing I know for sure is that you have to deal with the consequences of your actions. You have to follow through on some things.”
  • “what you don't know, you don't miss”
  • “people who say its a long story, mean it's a stupid short one that they are too embarrassed and couldn't be bothered to tell”
  • “You can run and run as fast and as far as you like, but the truth is, wherever you run, there you are.”
  • “After all, soulmates always end up together. Silly Bethany won't even be remembered then. Ex-girlfriends are easily forgotten. Best friends stay with you for ever.”
  • “Things change so quickly. Just when you get used to something, zap! It changes. Just when you begin to understand someone, zap! Xxx”
  • “Note to self:  Do not under any circumstances fall in love again.”
  • “Well isn’t that one thing you’re all the more wise for? Age has taught you something. It seems to me that you know the big secret. That nobody knows what’s going on”
  • “Fairy tales are such evil little stories for young children.”
  • “So I left my wonderfully intelligent family and soaked myself in the bath and considered drowning myself. Then I remembered I still had chocolate cake left over from yesterday so I came back up for air. Some things are worth living for.”
  • “People can never own people but whether I can be with him or not right now, the answer is no. Not now. Maybe in another time.”
  • “Marrying someone you don't love is not right.”
  • “You can run and run as fast and as far as you like, but the truth is, wherever you run, there you are.”
  • "Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
  • “xxx at the end of the day a missed opportunity is a missed opportunity. But don't worry; I think there's a lesson to be learned in all this.”
  • “People come and people go and we know this happens, yet we get such a shock when it does.”
  • “Why do we stop believing in ourselves? Why do we let facts and figures and anything but dreams rule our lives?”
  • “The reality of life gets in the way and you’re hit by the realization that you can’t be all you wanted to be”
  • “Good girls always come second.” 
  • “expect the unexpected for once. Maybe this time you won’t get such a shock when things don’t go your way.”
Favorite Parts that I Suppose Made the Book Great:
1. The Innocent Friendly Flirtations
Related quote from the book:
Rosie: “I know what it is. You just don’t want me to be single because I’m a distraction to you. If I’m with a man then you think that perhaps you just might be able to keep your hands off me. I know deep down that’s what this is all about. I’ve sussed you out Alex Stewart.  You love me. You want me to have your babies. You can’t stand another day without me.”
Alex: “I . . . don’t no what to say . . .” << guilty lol
Rosie: “HA! Bloody hell Alex I was only joking. No need to get all serious on me. So tell me. What happened to make you change your mind about Bethany?”

2. Secretly (not so) hating each others spouses
Related quote from the book:
Rosie: “I ask you all to raise your glasses and toast my best friend Alex and his
new best friend, best woman, and wife, Sally, and to wish them luck and
happiness and divorce in the future.
To Alex and Sally!”

3.    The feeling of being in love (vaguely described not classified)

a.  By “silence” throughout the book

After the kiss silence between Alex and Rosie:

Convesation Between Rosie and Steph
Rosie: “I honestly don’t know what happened to me. I’ve been lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling ever since I got home trying to figure out what came over me. Was it something I ate that made me feel light-headed? Was it something he said that I could have misunderstood? I’m trying to convince myself that it was more than just the silence of the moment that changed my heart.
At first we had so much to catch up on we were talking a hundred words a second, barely even listening to the ends of each other’s sentences before moving on to the next. And there was laughing. Lots of laughing. Then the laughing stopped and there was this silence. This weird comfortable silence. What the hell was it?
It was like the world stopped turning in that instant. Like everyone around us was wiped out. Like everything at home was forgotten about. It was like those few minutes on this world were created just for us and all we could do was look at each other. It was like he was seeing my face for the very first time. He looked confused but kind of amused. Exactly how I felt. Because I was sitting on the grass with my best friend Alex, and that was my best friend Alex’s face and nose and eyes and lips but they seemed different. So who was this man that was sending my heart into a frenzy? So I kissed him. I seized the moment and I kissed him.”
Steph: “Wow. And what did he say?”
Rosie: “Nothing.”
Steph: “Nothing?”
Rosie: “Nope. Absolutely nothing. He just stared at me. Xxx”  
Rosie: What the hell was that silence?
Steph:It sounds like something I’d like. It sounded nice.
Rosie: It was

Convesation Between Alex and Phil
Phil: What kind of a silence? 
Alex: Just a weird silence. 
Phil: Yeah but what do you mean by weird? Alex: Unusual, not normal. Phil: Yeah but was it good or bad? Alex: Good. Phil: And that’s bad? Alex: Yes. Phil: Because? Alex: I’m engaged to Sally. Phil: Did you ever have “the silence” with her? Alex: We have silences ... Phil: So do Margaret and I, you don’t always have to talk you know. Alex: No this was different Phil. It wasn’t just a silence, it was a . . . oh I don’t no. Phil: Bloody hell Alex. Alex: I no. I’m all over the place. Phil: OK so don’t marry Sally. Alex: But I love her. Phil: And what about Rosie? Alex: I’m not sure. Phil: Well then, I don’t see a problem here. If you were in love with Rosie and not sure about Sally then you’d be in trouble. Marry Sally and forget about the goddamn silence. Alex: Once again, you’ve put my life into perspective Phil. << wrong advise lol!

After the Visit for Alex in Boston:
Ruby: When will it ever be the right moment for you? Rosie: When there’s the silence again. Ruby: What silence? Rosie: It doesn’t matter.

Before marrying Bethany
Phil: No they’re not but the intention should be there at the beginning.  Was there the silence thing with Bethany? Alex: Oh shut up about the silence Phil. Phil: You’re the one who’s obsessed with it. So, come on, was there the silence thing? Alex: No.

After Rosie’s Date with Adam (Mr. Perfect)
Julie: But it was only your first date. You can never really tell these things by a first date. What did you want, fireworks? Rosie: No actually, quite the opposite. I want silence, a perfect moment of quietness. Julie: Silence? Rosie: Oh it’s a long story. But last night only proves that you can put me with a guy that’s perfect in every way and too good to be true and I’m still not ready. Everyone around me needs to stop rushing me.

Chat After Alex was Busy with Josh
Alex: It wasn’t the celibacy I was referring to; it was the vow of silence that would kill you. Rosie: Funny. Well believe me Alex, there are certain kinds of silences that make you walk on air. Alex: That, I know.

Alex with Phil Conversation After Conversation with Katie
Alex: Phil she felt the silence too.
Phil: Who, what, where, when?
Alex: Rosie. She felt that silence too all those years ago.
Phil: Oh the dreaded silence thing is back to haunt us, is it? I haven’t heard you talk about that for years.
Alex: I knew I wasn’t imagining it Phil!
Phil: Well then, what are you doing talking to me? Get off the Internet you fool and pick up the phone. Or the pen.

Silence between Katie and Toby

Katie and Rosie Conversation
Katie: “Mum I don’t know if it was the wine, or the heat, the food, or just my hormones but there were some forces in motion last night. Toby touched my arm and I felt all . . . zingy from head to toe. I’m almost 31 years old and I’ve never felt that before. And then there was this silence. This really weird silence. We stared at each other as though we were seeing each other for the very first time. It was like the world stopped turning just for us. An odd magical silence. The very same one that you told me you had with someone all those years ago.”

Katie and Alex Conversation
Katie: “Mum told me about the silence she experienced years ago. She kept telling me when I felt that silence with someone, it meant they were “the one.” I was beginning to think she made it up but she didn’t! This magical silence exists!”

Silence at the ending
Of course after she had received it, it hadn’t taken her long to reply at all.  And as the magical silence once again embraced them, after almost fifty years, all they could do was look at each other. And smile.

b. Katie’s feeling for Toby
Katie: “xxx I’ve never felt so . . . odd in my whole entire life.  Forgive me for speaking like a 12-year-old but that’s exactly how I feel right now. Last night was the weirdest night of my life. Xxx We chatted and chatted and chatted for hours until well after we had finished eating and eventually we were asked to leave at 2 a.m. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life. We continued talking as we strolled along the beach and the air felt so magical! We talked about old times and caught up on new times.  Mum I don’t know if it was the wine, or the heat, the food, or just my hormones but there were some forces in motion last night. Toby touched my arm and I felt all . . . zingy from head to toe. I’m almost 31 years old and I’ve never felt that before. And then there was this silence. This really weird silence. We stared at each other as though we were seeing each other for the very first time. It was like the world stopped turning just for us. An odd magical silence. The very same one that you told me you had with someone all those years ago.  Then he kissed me. Toby kissed me. And it was the best kiss I have ever had in all my 30
Is that heart-wrenching stuff or what? My legs nearly buckled from underneath me. It felt so odd that it was Toby that I was kissing but in another way it felt completely natural and I think that’s what the odd thing was about it if you know what I mean.
We spent all day together again today and my stomach is doing somersaults at the thought of seeing him again tonight. I now know what all my friends were talking about when they tried to describe this feeling. It’s so good it’s indescribable. Dad kept teasing me for walking around with a silly grin on my face all day.”

4.    The reluctance to confess – prolonged the story

Related quote from the book:
Ruby: Did you tell him how you—
Rosie: No! Why on earth would I do that? There’s no point. If I did that then I would lose him as a friend forever and then it would all be a waste of time. He has never suggested to me that he has ever felt that way about me; remember it was me that kissed him the last time. That was embarrassing enough once never mind having to do it a second time.  Anyway he is already with someone and even if it is slutty Bethany I couldn’t bring myself to do that. Xxx”

5.    The confession finally! (Delayed from age of 7 till they were 50!)

Related quote from the book:
“My dear Rosie,

Unbeknownst to you I took this chance before, many, many years ago. You never received that letter and I'm glad because my feelings since then have changed dramatically. They have intensified with every passing day.
I'll get straight to the point because if I don't say what I have to say now, I fear it will never be said. And I need to say it.
Today I love you more than ever; I want you more than ever. I'm a man of fifty years of age coming to you, feeling like a teenager in love, asking you to give me a chance and love me back.
Rosie Dunne, I love you with all my heart. I have always loved you, even when I was seven years old and I lied about falling asleep on Santa watch, when I was ten years old and didn't invite you to my birthday party, when I was eighteen and had to move away, even on my wedding days, on your wedding day, on christenings, birthdays and when we fought. I loved you through it all. Make me the happiest man on this earth by being with me.
Please reply to me.

All my love,

Thoughts to pounder upon:
1.    If being in love a universal thing (relatable thing that’s the same for everybody)?  Like the silence?
  • I really thought I’ve concluded that this is not so… But, now it’s another open case again for me because I know that feeling too…
Related quote from the book:
Katie: “xxx I now know what all my friends were talking about when they tried to describe this feeling xxx.”

The feeling of being “in love” only lasts a maximum of two years.  And, in the book it was emphasized to be “in love” as differentiated from just love…
  • As my good friend shared this fact and scientifically supported too, I once agreed to this.  But, now I’m curious as to what if it isn’t so.
Related quote from the book:
Alex: “I’m glad because my feelings since then have changed dramatically. They have intensified with every passing day. Xxx I need you more than ever; I want you more than ever. Xxx feeling like a teenager in love, xxx”