"You see, there's nothing funny about being missing. I also quickly realized there's little difference between being missing and looking for the missing: every day I search. Same as I did when I was working. Only this time I search for a way back to be found.
I have learned one thing worth mentioning. There is one huge difference in my life from before, one vital piece of evidence. For once in my life I want to go home.
What bad timing to realize such a thing. The biggest irony of all."
from page six, There's No Place Like Here
Close your eyes and chant with me, dear readers: "There's no place like here... There's no place like here... There's no place like here... THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HERE!" And poof, magically we're transported here.
There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern is... there are so many words to describe this book. The story and characters are unique, creative, original and unusual. They are sometimes hilarious and, at other times, they are heartbreaking. Ahern is an Irish writer, who previously wrote the novel P.S. I Love You that inspired the Hilary Swank starring film of the same title. Both novels take place in Ireland.
There's No Place Like Here tells the story of Sandy Shortt, who is neither sandy haired nor short in stature, but those are not the only ironies in her life. Sandy runs a missing persons agency. She is often the last hope for people searching for loved ones who have gone missing. Sandy has agreed to take the case of Donal, whose brother, Jack, has been obsessively searching for him ever since Donal went missing almost a year ago--the police have run down every lead and their investigation has gone cold. Sandy is Jack's last hope of finding Donal. One day as she's jogging, Sandy runs down an unfamiliar path and ends up in a place called Here. Here is a strange, mysterious, and magical place where all the missing people and things go when they disappear. You know how you swear you put two socks in that washing machine and only one comes out again? That other sock is in the place called Here. Once people or things find their way to Here, that is where they stay. People often don't know how or why they end up Here, and there is no way back to the world from which they disappeared.
There are two mysteries intertwined in this novel. The first is the mystery of Jack's brother's fate and whether or not Jack and his family will find closure regarding this tragedy. The second mystery concerns the nature of Here and whether or not Sandy will find her way back to her family and friends. Ultimately, whether or not Sandy finds a way to return to her family, she is changed forever by her experience Here.
This book is available upon request from Lebanon Community Library, Annville Free Library and Myerstown Community Library. I highly recommend you check this book out because you will not regret it.
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie