I have a confession to make – I didn’t like P.S I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. It was one of her bestsellers and also made into a successful movie, which again I didn’t like ! One Hundred Names is one of the books which has been regularly popping out into my hands from the library shelf and each time I would contemplate for a few seconds and then just shove it back. One of the reasons was that I didn’t like the author’s earlier book and the second reason was that the blurb at the back really did not tell me anything much about the story. It’s very cryptic and just says, “ One hundred names…. one hundred people. Kitty Logan inherits just a single list with the promise that it’s a story she has to tell…”. Like I said, very cryptic and it didn’t tempt me enough to grab it. Now, after reading the book, I think that was a big mistake on my part !
Cecilia Ahern spins a wonderous tale, like spun silk which is ethereal and spell binding. We meet Kitty Logan, the protagonist, at a time when she’s reeling under the repercussions of an extremely irresponsible action. She’s a print journalist who moves onto television which turns out to be quite disastrous for her. Constance, the founder of a small hardhitting magazine, is Kitty’s mentor and long time friend. On her deathbed,she leaves a list of one hundred names with Kitty with no instructions or information about what she has to do with it. Constance’s magazine decides to dedicate the next issue to its founder and Kitty is given the responsiblity of coming up with an article as a main feature based on the list. With very few friends to fall back on and the mounting pressure of a deadline coupled with hate attacks caused by her television program, Kitty has to dig deep into her reserves of strength and tenacity .
The stories of the individuals on the list are the true gems of this book. So well conceived and so beautifully formulated. The narration weaves through all the stories (only a few are contacted in the list) and brings them together so harmoniously. One of the names on the list is Eva Wu who runs her own company called ‘Dedicated’. Eva helps people find the perfect gift for a loved one. You should read the book just to read about her ideas for gifts, they are so outstanding and so unique ! Then there’s Ambrose, a lady who runs a butterfly park and museum, who’s a recluse. She’s as difficult to pin down as her beautiful butterflies.Each story seems so ordinary but when you go beneath the veneer, there’s a whole new dimension revealed which is the wow factor of this book. What binds the stories of all these people and what does Kitty learn from their lives ? Can she find what Constance intended her to and write the article before her deadline is over ?
All these and many more questions are answered and as a reader I felt a deep satisfaction when I finished the book. One Hundred Names by Cecilia Ahern is more an experience than merely a good read.