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Thanks for the Memories
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Thanks for the Memories

4.0 98
by Cecelia Ahern

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How is it possible to know someone you've never met?

With her marriage already in pieces, Joyce Conway nearly lost everything else. But she survived the terrible accident that left her hospitalized—and now, inxplicably, she can remember faces she has never seen, cobblestone Parisian streets she's never visited. A sudden, overwhelming sense of déjà


How is it possible to know someone you've never met?

With her marriage already in pieces, Joyce Conway nearly lost everything else. But she survived the terrible accident that left her hospitalized—and now, inxplicably, she can remember faces she has never seen, cobblestone Parisian streets she's never visited. A sudden, overwhelming sense of déjà vu has Joyce feeling as if her life is not her own.

Justin Hitchcock's decision to donate blood was the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time. He chased his ex-wife and daughter from Chicago to London—and now, restless and lonely, he lectures to bored college students in Dublin. But everything is about to change with the arrival of a basket of muffins with a thank-you note enclosed—the first in a series of anonymous presents that will launch Justin into the heart of a mystery...and alter two lives forever.

"Love and déjà vu feature in this wacky fairy tale about a woman 'transfused' with a stranger's memories. The romance is just what you'd expect from the popular author of P.S. I Love You" —Good Housekeeping

"[A] must-read book....Leads readers on a journey of the heart." —Complete Woman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Contrivance and a multitude of sitcom mixups drive Ahern's fifth novel. When Joyce Conway gets a blood transfusion after a tragic accident that caused her to miscarry, she strangely picks up the memories of her donor. Upon release from the hospital, she moves in with her father to try to cope with her impending divorce and the loss of her baby, but ends up instead on a wild goose chase after feeling a connection with a mysterious, smoldering stranger in a hair salon. Their relationship is obvious to the reader immediately, which makes the following several hundred pages a less than satisfying exercise in delaying the inevitable. Fans of Ahern's earlier work won't be disappointed with the fairy tale-like feeling, but readers not already in the fold might not stick around to the obvious conclusion. (Apr.)

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Library Journal

After falling and suffering a miscarriage, Joyce moves back in with her aging father when her marriage dissolves. Suddenly, she starts having the strangest daydreams, finds herself able to speak Latin, and spouts academic facts regarding architecture and Irish history. Justin, a visiting professor at Dublin's Trinity College, wants to feel important-he imagines saving someone's life and having that person forever in his debt. After giving blood one afternoon, he keeps running into a mysterious woman wherever he goes and can't understand why he's attracted to her. Turns out, his donation went to Joyce during her hospital stay, and now the two are inexplicably linked. The secondary characters of Justin's family and Joyce's amusing father help to keep this tale grounded. Ahern (P.S. I Love You) has a knack for getting to the heart of human emotions-Joyce's emotional pain is palpable, as is Justin's longing for meaning in his life. The author started out writing chick lit before venturing into decidedly fairy-tale terrain. This title manages to blend the two elements smoothly. For all fiction collections.
—Rebecca Vnuk

Kirkus Reviews
Bestselling Irish author Ahern (There's No Place Like Here, 2008, etc.) is at it again with a tale of deja vu via blood transfusions. The novel opens with Joyce lying at the bottom of her stairs and bleeding, barely conscious but knowing the worst-this fall has cost her her pregnancy. When she wakes in the hospital her dear old dad is there, though husband Conor is away on business and his less-than-prompt return bodes ill for the relationship-in fact, Joyce dispatches with her loveless marriage soon after returning to her childhood home. Loss of her baby (devastating as she's been trying for years) and imminent divorce (less devastating as Conor, away most of the year on business, will hardly be missed) is not the only upheaval in Joyce's life. She's just not quite the same person-she now eats meat, speaks fluent Italian, has a vast knowledge of European art and architecture and, creepiest of all, has someone else's memories. Little does she know that a month prior, dashing American Justin Hitchcock (you guessed it-visiting lecturer at Trinity College on European art and architecture) donated a pint of his blood, which she received at the emergency room. Over time, the two bump into each other at a hair salon; he sees her on television; he sees her riding a tour bus in London; she sees him at the ballet. At each sighting and ensuing missed opportunity, they feel an inexplicable connection, a kind of love at first sight. Though the reader is certainly expected to root for their romance, the essential relationship of the novel is between Joyce and her aged father. Not only are the two together for most of the novel, their relationship is tender and funny and far more authentic than therather odd premise of Joyce and Justin's destiny. Ahern's nice comic timing and affectionate portrayal of a father and daughter saves this from becoming just another (slightly weird) chick-lit romance.
Marie Claire
“Ahern cleverly uses the same mystical flirtations that made her P.S. I Love You a big-screen rom-com.”
Complete Woman
“Cecelia Ahern follows the success of her novel P.S. I Love You with another must-read book. Thanks for the Memories leads readers on a journey of the heart in this profound story.”
Good Housekeeping
“Love and déjà vu feature in this wacky fairy tale about a woman ‘transfused’ with a stranger’s memories. The romance is just what you’d expect from the popular author of P.S. I Love You.”
Redbook Magazine
“The what-if questions that arise [in Thanks for the Memories] give us full permission to believe in magic.”
“Ahern devotees will enjoy the magical connection that springs up between Joyce and Justin, and will keep turning the pages to find out if the two can make their way to a happy ending together.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Thanks for the Memories

Chapter One

"Blood transfusion," Dr. Fields announces from the podium of a lecture hall in Trinity College's Arts Building, "is the process of transferring blood or blood-based products from one person into the circulatory system of another. Blood transfusions may treat medical conditions such as massive blood loss due to trauma, surgery, shock, and where the red-cell-producing mechanism fails.

"Here are the facts. Three thousand donations are needed in Ireland every week. Only three percent of the Irish population are donors, providing blood for a population of almost four million. One in four people will need a transfusion at some point. Take a look around the room now."

Five hundred heads turn left, right, and around. Uncomfortable sniggers break the silence.

Dr. Fields elevates her voice over the disruption. "At least one hundred and fifty people in this room will need a blood transfusion at some stage in their lives."

That silences them. A hand is raised.


"How much blood does a patient need?"

"How long is a piece of string, dumb-ass?" a voice from the back mocks, and a scrunched ball of paper flies at the head of the young male inquirer.

"It's a very good question." She frowns into the darkness, unable to see the students through the light of the projector. "Who asked that?"

"Mr. Dover," someone calls from the other side of the room.

"I'm sure Mr. Dover can answer for himself. What's your first name?"

"Ben," he responds, sounding dejected.

Laughter erupts. Dr. Fields sighs.

"Ben, thank you for your question—and to the rest of you, there is nosuch thing as a stupid question. This is what Blood for Life Week is all about. It's about asking all the questions you want, learning all you need to know about blood transfusions before you possibly donate today, tomorrow, the remaining days of this week on campus, or maybe regularly in your future."

The main door opens, and light streams into the dark lecture hall. Justin Hitchcock enters, the concentration on his face illuminated by the white light of the projector. Under one arm are multiple piles of folders, each one slipping by the second. A knee shoots up to hoist them back in place. His right hand carries both an overstuffed briefcase and a dangerously balanced Styrofoam cup of coffee. He slowly lowers his hovering foot down to the floor, as though performing a tai chi move, and a relieved smile creeps onto his face as calm is restored. Somebody sniggers, and the balancing act is once again compromised.

Hold it, Justin. Move your eyes away from the cup and assess the situation. Woman on podium, five hundred kids. All staring at you. Say something. Something intelligent."I'm confused," he announces to the darkness, behind which he senses some sort of life-form. There are twitters in the room, and he feels all eyes on him as he moves back toward the door to check the number.

Don't spill the coffee. Don't spill the damn coffee.

He opens the door, allowing shafts of light to sneak in again, and the students in its line shade their eyes.

Twitter, twitter, nothing funnier than a lost man.

Laden down with items, he manages to hold the door open with his leg. He looks back to the number on the outside of the door and then back to his sheet, the sheet that, if he doesn't grab it that very second, will float to the ground. He makes a move to grab it. Wrong hand. Styrofoam cup of coffee falls to the ground. Closely followed by sheet of paper.

Damn it! There they go again, twitter, twitter. Nothing funnier than a lost man who has spilled his coffee and dropped his schedule.

"Can I help you?" The lecturer steps down from the podium.

Justin brings his entire body back into the classroom, and darkness resumes.

"Well, it says here . . . well, it said there"—he nods his head toward the sodden sheet on the ground—"that I have a class here now."

"Enrollment for international students is in the exam hall."

He frowns. "No, I—"

"I'm sorry." She comes closer. "I thought I heard an American accent." She picks up the Styrofoam cup and throws it into the bin, over which a sign reads "No Drinks Allowed."

"Ah . . . oh . . . sorry about that."

"Graduate students are next door." She adds in a whisper, "Trust me, you don't want to join this class."

Justin clears his throat and corrects his posture, tucking the folders tighter under his arm. "Actually, I'm lecturing the History of Art and Architecture class."

"You're lecturing?"

"Guest lecturing. Believe it or not." He blows his hair up from his sticky forehead. A haircut, remember to get a haircut. There they go again, twitter, twitter. A lost lecturer who's spilled his coffee, dropped his schedule, is about to lose his folders, and needs a haircut. Definitely nothing funnier.

"Professor Hitchcock?"

"That's me." He feels the folders slipping from under his arm.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," she whispers. "I didn't know . . ." She catches a folder for him. "I'm Dr. Sarah Fields from the IBTS. The faculty told me that I could have a half hour with the students before your lecture, your permission pending, of course."

"Oh, well, nobody informed me of that, but that's no problemo." Problemo? He shakes his head at himself and makes for the door. Starbucks, here I come."Professor Hitchcock?"

He stops at the door. "Yes."

"Would you like to join us?"

I most certainly would not. There's a cappuccino and cinnamon muffin with my name on them. No. Just say no.

"Um . . . nn-es." Nes? "I mean yes."

Twitter, twitter, twitter. Lecturer caught out. Forced into doing something he clearly didn't want to do by attractive young woman in white coat claiming to be a doctor of an unfamiliar initialized organization.

"Great. Welcome."

She places the folders back under his arm and returns to the podium to address the students.

Thanks for the Memories. Copyright (c) by Cecelia Ahern . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.


Meet the Author

Cecelia Ahern is the author of the international bestsellers PS, I Love You; Love, Rosie; If You Could See Me Now; There's No Place Like Here; Thanks for the Memories; The Gift; The Book of Tomorrow; and The Time of My Life. Her books are published in forty-six countries and have collectively sold more than sixteen million copies. The daughter of the former prime minister of Ireland, she lives in Dublin.

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Thanks for the Memories 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
txaggieKR More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book! Thanks for the Memories touches the heart in so many ways. I especially loved the relationship between Joyce and her father... I laughed out loud many times because of them :) It's a great read- you won't be disappointed!
sunshinePS More than 1 year ago
Her unique way of writing holds my attention. Love the quirky way she tells the story and her charachters are funny. Loved this book and would recommend to anyone. All her books I would recommend.
risuena More than 1 year ago
It's a fun quick pretty good summer read. I like that it's different, alittle far fetched, somehow trying to believe blood donations can also involve the sharing of memories and aspects of the donor's personality is difficult, but hey, it's a story. The close calls and timing of the two main characters definitely drive the pace. I was a little disappointed at the end, a tad anticlimatic. But overall, I enjoyed the way the author talked about loss and how people dealt with them whether it be physical separation, divorce, or death and how it affected people of all ages and different generations. I think my favorite character is the dad, and the main character's relationship with her father provides hope and lightens the story with their comedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting read. I found it to be very entertaining and humorous at times. It kept me reading wanting to know how it will work out for Joyce and Justin in the end. A worthwhile read. I will definitely check out other titles from this author. I have heard that there is some truth that people can experience some the things that Joyce did from receiving a blood transfusion from another person such as different tastes etc. Definitely worth the time spent reading this one.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Curious,funny and romantic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, cute charming all the way through,funny keeps you guessing Does She, Does He?
Fancygrl68 More than 1 year ago
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the Memories is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by Cecelia Ahern. This book has a bit of magical realism added to it that gave it a pretty unique storyline. Imagine having a blood transfusion and suddenly being linked to the donor and vice versa. Pretty unreal, huh? Overall, I thought Thanks for the Memories was fun, sweet, and creative. But...Ms. Ahern took the slow lane on the highway just to go to the corner store in my opinion. This would have been the perfect plot for a short story versus a full-length novel. It's slow-going and long and I felt it for sure. I won't be reading this for a second time but it was an OK read overall. I had to add a star to my initial 2-star rating because you know it's Cecelia Ahern ♥ My favorite quote: “We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes we see the way out but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes it's easier. Sometimes we find our own way out. But regardless, always, we are found.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Enjoyed this book. Characters were flawed and easy to relate to. Great plot if slightly unbelievable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Instant hicken soup for soul
Mooslynn More than 1 year ago
Because I have loved P.S. I Love You so much I was looking for even more great story telling by Miss Ahern. So when I read this novel I was slightly disappointed. The building blocks for a great love story are there but I was just not feeling it. Our two leads never were given the chance to connect and be together. I just wish it could have different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretend_Spoon More than 1 year ago
Super cute. It was on sale, which is what caught my attention. I loved the dad--he was a great character. The only complaint I would make is that there were too many "near misses" which made the story drag on and on in places.
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PoshYla More than 1 year ago
Lou is a selfish jerk who thinks only about his career, and everyone else around him just nods and dont do anything about it. Then along came Gabe who gave him the gift to be in two places at the same time. I dont like Gabe... there's just too much mystery thrown in that he became vague as a character. Some situations are very improbable, but hey... its fiction, right? So whatever... :p Anyway, the ending, like what I said earlier, is very touching indeed. This book will make you question your priorities, and make us see the sad truth that most of us neglect the really important things in life. Since its almost Christmas (a month or so away from now)... this book is a perfect read. Perhaps this will help us celebrate this season in a more meaningful way. I guess the last thing I can say about the story is... we are no different from Lou. Most of the times we are so busy trying to reach our dreams - to be number one at work and be the best in what we do... that often times we forget to be the best in the MORE important things - like being the best daughter or son, the best mom or dad, the best sister or brother, the best wife or husband. Cliche as it may be, but there are far more important things than money. Lets not be like Lou, and wait for his dying moment before he started telling his family how much they meant to him. Everyday, let the people we truly love know that they are what matters most to us. Because not only dont we have the magic pill to give us a second chance, we also dont have the privilege of knowing how much time we have left in this world. So lets not waste a second.
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Mikell Nigro More than 1 year ago
I had never read one of her books, but really enjoyed the story. I am looking forward to reading more of her works.