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To The Moon and Back Paperback – Nov 15 2011
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'A warm-hearted, sassy romance'― Woman & Home
'touching, can make you laugh and is deliciously romantic'― Woman's Day Australia
'Another super tale from a talented writer'― Sun
'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
About the Author
The author of many bestselling novels, Jill Mansell is a full-time writer. She lives in Bristol with her family.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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
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.
Now you may think that is sad and it is but Jill's novel is not; really it is a novel of hope and this novel is full of so many fantastic characters that it captivates you early on. Almost a year and a half later, Ellie realizes that she has to try to move on even if she really doesn't want to (the only thing she won't change are those little conversations she has with her dead hubby). Ellie has always been close with her father-in-law Tony even after her husband's death but she's been very reluctant to invite him to her home as it has turned into quite the dump. Tony ends up seeing the place though and promptly moves her into a upscale place in a good neighborhood on the pretense of using the place himself when he's in town. This is the turning point in Ellie's life - where the person she used to be begins to reawaken.
Ellie finds herself a new job with a guy named Zack who's only hope was to find a good assistant who wouldn't be after him. Well there could be no more perfect job for Ellie than that. The thing is that Zack had, weeks ago, seen Ellie on the street and uncharacteristically for him, seemed to have fallen for her on the spot. When she comes in for the interview he has no choice but to give her the job. He simply can't risk never seeing her again. For her part Ellie loves the job, loves Zack's dog Elmo, and just maybe as time goes on be developing a bit of a thing for her boss.
Along with the whole romantic thing going on and not going on with Ellie and Zack there is on the sidelines some other great characters. Roo, Ellie's friend is simply hilarious. At first she has some issues with always dating the wrong men but as times goes on she begins to see the error of her ways and it was great to see her develop in that way. My favorite character though would have to be Ellie. She was smart and sassy and broken but willing to see what life still had to offer her and go after it. Her heart may always belong to her first husband but she's willing to open it up again to love. It was fun to follow her through the whole journey she had to take to get to that point.
I think what I like most about Jill's books is how real they seem to life. The romance seems to flow in a normal and sweet way, the characters feel like your friends, and mostly you feel as though you could walk into the pages of the book and be a part of the story with ease. I became so invested in this story and the people that I didn't want it to end and, in fact, I kept putting it down towards the end just to draw it out some more. If you like chick-lit that is very well done and more importantly love British writing like I do, then I encourage you to pick up To The Moon and Back. It is a story of love, loss, and the hope that there is something better up ahead if you just go ahead and grab for it! Her books always leave me feeling good about life and we can always use a bit of that in our lives!