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To The Moon and Back Paperback – Nov 15 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (Nov. 15 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755355814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755355815
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #609,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'touching, can make you laugh and is deliciously romantic'— Woman's Day Australia

'A warm-hearted, sassy romance'— Woman & Home

'Another lovely book from Mansell, with charming characters and emotional depth...a warm and thoughtful read, populated with engaging characters that you'll care about'— Mail

'Another super tale from a talented writer'— Sun

About the Author

The author of many bestselling novels, Jill Mansell is a full-time writer. She lives in Bristol with her family.

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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Sept. 19 2011
Format: Paperback
I would say that Jill Mansell is my favourite chick lit author. I've read every North American release of her books and just finished the latest - To the Moon and Back.

Ellie Kendall's husband Jamie was killed in an auto accident. They were desperately in love and Ellie still has not come to grips with his being gone. In fact she 'sees' Jamie almost every day and talks to him. When her father in law insists she move to a decent apartment in Primrose Hill, she reluctantly agrees. Maybe with a change - new home, new job and new friends, she can start to believe Jamie is really gone and move on.

As always, it's impossible not to love the lead character in Mansell's novels. Ellie is warm, loving, completely guileless and just a little bit quirky -someone you would love to have as a friend. Her new friend Roo has been searching for love in all the wrong places. And Ellie's new boss Zack, isn't looking for love, but it finds him when be meets Ellie. The supporting cast of To The Moon And Back are no less engaging. I especially enjoy how Mansell includes an older couple into her stories, often grappling with the same issues as her younger characters.

Mansell's writing is always entertaining, filled with lots of humour, but she also works a serious theme into the story. This time it's dealing with the loss of a spouse. It's handled with both candor and thoughtfulness, never detracting, but only adding to a great book.

There are no great surprises in Mansell's books. Lots of missed cues and misunderstandings and many times I want to give the characters a bit of a shove in the right direction. But I can't and I wouldn't - because Mansell has the direction already planned - a happy ending. And a happy reader.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 72 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Tender romance about finding love after heartbreak Feb. 22 2011
By Alpha Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ellie Kendall lost it all when her beloved husband, Jamie, died in a car accident. She lost the love of her life; all the memories and plans and growing old together vanished in a heartbeat. Her co-workers, friends and family started treating her differently, walking on eggshells and constantly apologizing for her heartbreak. Ellie may have even lost her sanity - because occasionally she still talks to Jamie (and sometimes he talks back). But all that is going to change now. It has been a year and a half since Jamie passed away, and Ellie needs a change.

She quits her job and moves into a sweet little apartment in Primrose Hill, courtesy of her father-in-law and movie star, Tony Weston. Ellie befriends her next-door-neighbour and ex-celebrity, `Daisy Deeva' aka `Roo'. And Ellie reconnects with her Jamie's old friend, Todd. And finally, through luck, chance and Roo, Ellie scores a job as assistant to entrepreneur Zack McLaren. Zack may be drool-worthy, but he has a girlfriend and Ellie isn't quite ready to jump back on that bandwagon . . . unfortunately for Zack.

`To the Moon and Back' is the new novel from contemporary romance author, Jill Mansell.

I have a confession to make, one I am quite ashamed of . . . this is my first Jill Mansell book. I know, I know! It's atrocious. She is one author who has been recommended to me again and again but I've never got around to reading her, until now. And I've got to say - she was worth the wait.

Jill Mansell is the literary equivalent of Richard Curtis. She writes quaint little British romances that appear quite sweet and innocent, but pack an emotional punch and leave you with a swirl of emotions - from outright giggles to pathetic blubbering.

`To the Moon and Back' is a novel about losing love, and the myriad of ways that people cope with the fallout. Mansell writes an interesting cast of characters, all of whom have a trail leading back to Ellie Kendall.

There's Roo, Ellie's hopeless next-door-neighbour and new friend. Roo has started seeing the perfect guy - handsome, funny and good in bed. Except he's married, a fact which won't stop Roo from falling in love with him.

Tony Weston is Ellie's father-in-law. He also happens to be a movie star; one of the few ex-pat Poms's to have made it big in Hollywood. Ellie and Tony are keeping each other afloat since Jamie's sudden death - they're a tight unit bought together by their love for Jamie and caught asunder by their grief. Just as Ellie starts moving on with her life, Tony meets someone new, and he has never felt such an instant connection. Fifty-five is never too late to find true love.

Zack McLaren is a prominent London businessman who employs Ellie as his new PA. It's thoroughly inappropriate and he feels awful; but Zack has the biggest crush on Ellie, from the moment he lays eyes on her. But Zack has a girlfriend. And inter-office relations are really quite inappropriate . . . especially when he can't figure out of Ellie is dating the movie star Tony Weston and living in his Primrose Hill love nest?

And finally, Ellie Kendall has a hole in heart where Jamie should be. They were soul-mates, and they didn't have enough time together. I loved Ellie best of all - she's coping terribly with the loss of her husband, but she soldiers on with wry wit and the dogged determination that tomorrow will be better, easier. But in the meantime, Ellie has conversations with imaginary Jamie. . . she knows it's crazy and deluded, but she misses him and she can't stop conjuring him. Through these exchanges we can see how well Ellie and Jamie fit together. Their banter (even if it is all in Ellie's head) is funny and ingrained with years of `in-jokes' that reveal that these two were best friends as well as lovers.

Fair warning - you will cry. Ellie's story is sad and tragic, made all the worse by the fact that she can't see the good thing that's right around the corner. Zack pines for Ellie while she goes out on bungled dates and tries to get on with her life and love life (much to Zack's chagrin).

I loved Ellie and Zack. Mansell has all the perfect romantic ingredients - unrequited love, pining and tragedy, and always with that dry British wit to carry these two characters through their struggles.

`To the Moon and Back' is a sweet contemporary romance, and Mansell's writing is reverently tender as she explores these flawed characters. She writes complicated and messy people that live in the gray areas. She explores adultery from many different angles and perspectives; sometimes the cheating is reprehensible and unforgiveable, but in other situations the faithlessness has an explanation. She also explores the inability of people to move on, and all the various triggers and prompts that people need in order to put the past to rest and break free.

Jill Mansell's `To the Moon and Back' is superb. It's a book of high emotion - you will cry, and laugh and you will be torn in two by the various moral conundrums these characters face. But at the end of the day this is a feel-good slice of British humour wonderfully coloured by Mansell's tender romance about moving on and finding love after heartbreak.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't put it down! Aug. 5 2011
By S. Shamma - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've been in a dump for a long while when it came to books. Every time I bought a book it would disappoint in one way or another, and I wouldn't enjoy it in the least and have to force myself to finish it.

This book however, my first for the author, turned all of that around. I could not put it down, literally!! And I missed that, I missed enjoying a story so much that I honestly cannot put the book down because I always wanted to know what would happen next! And Ms. Mansell gave me that, she kept me on my toes the whole time, and staying up late reading this was SO worth it.

The characters are very well rounded, they're endearing, realistic, and their sense of humor is simply put, hilarious. The romance that built up from the beginning between Zack and Ellie electrified me, it was so intense. The way it burst into flames at the end was perfect, and I was cheering right along with all the other characters in the book.

There's so much to commend this story, and I could go on forever saying how much I enjoyed reading it, but I'd rather leave the reader to make his/her own decisions. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, light, fun, and definitely romantic read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
To the moon and back Sept. 5 2011
By Blodeuedd - Published on
Format: Paperback
I know what I get when I read a book by Jill Mansell and I do like that. Since this one takes place in London the same quaint English village feeling is not there, instead we have the lovely city to watch and everything else that is there.

Ellie is happy and in love, but then her husband dies and everything changes. The book sure starts with a heartbreaking beginning. The book continues 15 months later and she is dealing with the loss and she still talks to him. She is afraid to let go and move on. But everything is about to change when her father in law shows up, sets her up in his house, and she gets a new job.

I did like Ellie, she felt real and I wished she would be happy and fall in love again. Her father in law Tony was great too, a really sweet man who also gets a love story in this book. Then we have Todd, who was in the car with Jamie when he died. Ellie still blames him, but like with all Mansell books Todd will find happiness too. Then we have Ellie's new friend Roo who was a breath of fresh air, and she is dealing with her own relationship trouble. And at last, Ellie's new hot boss Zack who has fancied her ever since he saw her at a restaurant and he could not forget her.

As always there is a great cast of characters and Mansell does not leave you disappointed. There are HEAs everywhere to be found. It will take a while for all to find them, but they will. And that is why her books are so great because people find happiness, but I also like that before that happiness comes along they meet the wrong people, make the wrong decisions and slowly let the love they do find grow. It takes time to fall in love.

I never know where to place these books. I would not see them as chic-lit as they are something more, they are not contemporary romance since, well, I do not know. I always feel that she is in a genre of her own.

If you like her books then you will enjoy this book too. If you are a newbie to her books then give it a go. It has a bit of everything, romance, heartache and it is just sweet.

Sweet and fun
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bet you can't read just one. (Jill Mansell book, that is.) Dec 21 2011
By OLT - Published on
Format: Paperback
For me, reading a Jill Mansell novel is a bit like eating a bag of chips. I open either one up and just keep reading/eating and, all of a sudden, OMG, I've finished the whole book/bag. The book is definitely easier on the hips, of course, especially if read on the exercise bike, but both are extremely pleasant escape entertainments for me.

This one is true to Mansell form or perhaps even better than form. Protagonist, very happily-married Ellie Kendall, loses her husband Jamie in the first chapter of the book and the rest is the story of her struggle to overcome her grief and get on with life. The book has several poignant moments, especially her "conversations" with Jamie after his death, but it's not a downer of a book. After all, it's by Mansell, who's never written an unhappy ending to my knowledge.

There are many secondary characters who add to the storyline with their own life issues (and some even with their own developing romances) and, with excellent dialogue and funny moments, keep the story mainly light and entertaining. Although the book deals with relatively tough issues, death of a loved one, Alzheimer's, infidelity, insecurities and poor life decisions, it's superficial in its treatment of any of them and the reader is entertained rather than depressed.

Brit chick lit is not great literature but I rate the books I read on how much I enjoyed the reading experience. This one was, as I said before, one of the fastest and most enjoyable 429-page reads I've had in a while, even with my "old hen" status, the "chick" in me long gone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Didn't want the story to end... Oct. 16 2012
By Claire - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jill Mansell has the great skill and ability to take you into a short period of a character's life and carry you along into the everyday and make you want to read more when it's over. This ability was definitely in force in To the Moon and Back. It is a simple story of finding love and happiness after great grief and it was well done. Not much really happens (plot-wise) in this book, which is part of the charm -- no crazy twists and unbelievable villains or tired old tropes. The heroine was very likable as was the Hero and the parallel secondary plot was fun to follow. A sense of humor and self control are Mansell staples and part of nearly all her books, and keep the reader riveted. I have loved most of her books and this one is right up there along with the others.

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