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Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End: A Book Review

Cecelia Ahern: Where Rainbows End - A Review

If you are looking for a heartwarming, humorous, and romantic novel that will make you laugh and cry, you should check out Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End. This is a book that tells the story of two best friends who are meant to be together, but life keeps getting in the way. In this article, I will give you a brief overview of the author, the plot, the characters, and the themes of this book, as well as my personal opinion and recommendation. I will also answer some frequently asked questions about the book at the end.

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Who is Cecelia Ahern?

Cecelia Ahern is an Irish novelist who has written more than 20 books since her debut in 2004. She is best known for her international bestsellers PS, I Love You and Love, Rosie (which was originally titled Where Rainbows End). Her books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. She has also written several short stories, novellas, and screenplays for TV and film. She is the daughter of former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

What is Where Rainbows End about?

Where Rainbows End is a novel that spans over 40 years in the lives of Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, two childhood friends who share a bond that goes beyond friendship. They grow up together in Dublin, Ireland, but their paths diverge when Alex moves to Boston, USA with his family. They keep in touch through letters, emails, phone calls, and instant messages, but they never seem to find the right time or place to confess their true feelings for each other. Along the way, they face various obstacles and challenges, such as teenage pregnancy, failed marriages, career changes, family issues, and health problems. They also meet other people who come in and out of their lives, but none of them can replace the connection they have with each other. Will they ever get their chance to be together? Or will they always wonder what could have been?

Why should you read it?

You should read Where Rainbows End if you enjoy stories that are realistic, relatable, and emotional. This is a book that will make you laugh at the witty and hilarious exchanges between Rosie and Alex, but also make you cry at the heartbreaking moments they go through. This is a book that will make you root for them to find their happiness, but also make you frustrated at their missed opportunities and bad decisions. This is a book that will make you think about your own life choices, dreams, regrets, and relationships. This is a book that will touch your heart and soul.

Main Body

The plot of Where Rainbows End

The childhood friendship of Rosie and Alex

The book begins in 1998 when Rosie and Alex are five years old and attend the same kindergarten. They become best friends and do everything together. They share their secrets, fears, hopes, and dreams. They celebrate their birthdays, holidays, and milestones. They support each other through good and bad times. They promise to always be there for each other, no matter what.

The missed opportunities and challenges of their lives

The book follows Rosie and Alex as they grow up and face different situations that test their friendship and love. When they are 17, they plan to go to the same college in Boston, but Rosie gets pregnant by a guy she barely knows and decides to keep the baby. She stays in Dublin to raise her daughter Katie, while Alex goes to Boston to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. They try to maintain their long-distance relationship, but it becomes harder and harder as time goes by. They miss each other's calls, emails, and messages. They lose touch for months or years at a time. They have misunderstandings, arguments, and silences. They date other people who don't understand or appreciate them. They get married and divorced for the wrong reasons. They face personal and professional challenges that change them as individuals. They grow apart and grow together, but never at the same time.

The reunion and the happy ending

The book ends in 2039 when Rosie and Alex are 46 years old and finally reunite after years of separation. Rosie has moved to Boston with her daughter Katie, who is now 22 and studying at Harvard. Alex has moved back to Dublin with his son Josh, who is also 22 and working as a journalist. They meet again at Katie and Josh's wedding, where they are the maid of honor and the best man. They realize that they still love each other and that they have wasted too much time apart. They decide to give their relationship a chance and live happily ever after.

The characters of Where Rainbows End

Rosie Dunne: the protagonist and narrator

Rosie is the main character and narrator of the book. She is a kind, loyal, funny, and optimistic person who loves her family and friends. She is also a strong, independent, resilient, and courageous woman who faces many difficulties in her life. She becomes a single mother at 18, works as a hotel receptionist for years, opens her own bed and breakfast business, deals with her alcoholic father, her estranged mother, her rebellious daughter, her cheating husband, her cancer diagnosis, and her unrequited love for Alex. She never gives up on her dreams or herself, even when things seem hopeless. She is the heart and soul of the book.

Alex Stewart: the best friend and love interest

Alex is the best friend and love interest of Rosie. He is a smart, handsome, charming, and ambitious person who has a passion for medicine and helping people. He is also a caring, supportive, faithful, and romantic man who loves Rosie more than anything in the world. He faces his own challenges in his life, such as moving to a new country, studying hard to become a doctor, coping with his parents' divorce, his sister's death, his son's autism, his unhappy marriages, his career changes, and his long-distance relationship with Rosie. He always tries to do the right thing for himself and others, even when it hurts him. He is the brain and spine of the book.

Other supporting characters and their roles

The book also features many other characters who play important roles in Rosie and Alex's lives. Some of them are:

  • Katie Dunne: Rosie's daughter who is smart, beautiful, rebellious, and adventurous. She has a close relationship with her mother and Alex. She falls in love with Josh Stewart.

  • Josh Stewart: Alex's son who is handsome, talented, autistic, and sensitive. He has a close relationship with his father and Rosie. He falls in love with Katie Dunne.

  • Ruby: Rosie's best friend who is loud, bold, outrageous, and hilarious. She works as a psychic hotline operator and gives advice to Rosie on everything.

  • Toby: Alex's best friend who is cool, laid-back, loyal, and funny. He works as a lawyer and helps Alex with his problems.

  • Brian: Rosie's first husband who is handsome, rich, arrogant, and unfaithful. He cheats on Rosie with several women.

  • Bethany: Alex's first wife who is beautiful, sophisticated, snobbish, and manipulative. She marries Alex for his money and status.

  • Sally: Alex's second wife who is sweet, kind, boring, and insecure. She marries Alex out of pity and desperation.

Rosie's second husband who is handsome, kind, supportive, and boring. He loves Rosie but doesn't excite her.

  • Stephanie: Rosie's mother who is selfish, cold, and distant. She leaves Rosie and her father when Rosie is a baby and moves to Australia.

  • Phil: Rosie's father who is loving, caring, and alcoholic. He suffers from depression and addiction after his wife leaves him.

  • Claire: Alex's sister who is fun, friendly, and adventurous. She dies in a car accident when Alex is in college.

  • Elizabeth: Alex's mother who is warm, gentle, and nurturing. She divorces Alex's father and remarries a nice man.

  • Richard: Alex's father who is strict, stern, and successful. He divorces Alex's mother and remarries a younger woman.

The themes of Where Rainbows End

Friendship and love

The main theme of the book is friendship and love. The book explores the different types of friendship and love that exist between people, such as platonic, romantic, familial, and unconditional. The book also shows how friendship and love can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how they are expressed, received, and valued. The book illustrates how friendship and love can inspire, motivate, comfort, heal, and transform people, but also how they can hurt, disappoint, betray, confuse, and destroy them. The book ultimately celebrates friendship and love as the most powerful and beautiful forces in life.

Fate and destiny

Another theme of the book is fate and destiny. The book questions whether fate and destiny are real or not, and whether they control or influence people's lives. The book suggests that fate and destiny are mysterious and unpredictable forces that can bring people together or apart, depending on their choices and actions. The book also implies that fate and destiny are not fixed or predetermined, but rather flexible and changeable, depending on people's will and desire. The book ultimately encourages people to believe in fate and destiny as a source of hope and faith.

Dreams and regrets

A final theme of the book is dreams and regrets. The book examines how dreams and regrets affect people's lives, both positively and negatively. The book demonstrates how dreams and regrets can drive people to pursue their goals and passions, but also how they can hold them back from achieving their potential. The book also reveals how dreams and regrets can shape people's personalities and perspectives, but also how they can distort their realities and expectations. The book ultimately advises people to balance their dreams and regrets as a way of learning and growing.


Summary of the main points

In conclusion, Where Rainbows End is a novel by Cecelia Ahern that tells the story of Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, two best friends who are meant to be together but life keeps getting in the way. The novel spans over 40 years in their lives as they face various challenges and opportunities that test their friendship and love. The novel features many other characters who play important roles in their lives. The novel explores several themes such as friendship and love, fate and destiny, and dreams and regrets.

Personal opinion and recommendation

My personal opinion of the book is that it is a wonderful and captivating read that will make you feel a range of emotions. I enjoyed the writing style and format of the book, which uses letters, emails, phone calls, and instant messages to tell the story. I liked the characters and their development throughout the book, especially Rosie and Alex, who are very realistic and relatable. I loved the themes and messages of the book, which are very relevant and meaningful. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, comedy, drama, and life stories.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the book:

  • Q: Is Where Rainbows End based on a true story? A: No, Where Rainbows End is not based on a true story. It is a fictional work of Cecelia Ahern's imagination.

  • Q: Is Where Rainbows End the same as Love, Rosie? A: Yes, Where Rainbows End is the same as Love, Rosie. The book was originally published as Where Rainbows End in 2004, but it was later renamed as Love, Rosie in 2014 to coincide with the release of the film adaptation.

  • Q: Is there a sequel to Where Rainbows End? A: No, there is no sequel to Where Rainbows End. The book ends with Rosie and Alex finally getting together and living happily ever after.

Q: How does the film adaptation of Where Rainbows End differ from the book? A: The film adaptation of Where Rainbows End differs from the book in several ways, such as:

  • The film covers only 12 years in Rosie and Alex's lives, from 1998 to 2010, while the book covers over 40 years, from 1998 to 2039.

  • The film changes some of the characters' names, such as Katie Dunne to Katie Webster and Josh Stewart to Toby Stewart.

  • The film omits some of the characters and events from the book, such as Ruby, Toby, Claire, Stephanie, Phil, Elizabeth, Richard, Rosie's cancer diagnosis, Alex's career change, and Katie and Josh's wedding.

  • The film adds some new characters and scenes to the book, such as Greg Collins, Rosie's boss and love interest at the hotel, and Alex's proposal to Rosie at the airport.

  • Q: Who are the actors who play Rosie and Alex in the film adaptation of Where Rainbows End? A: The actors who play Rosie and Alex in the film adaptation of Where Rainbows End are Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.



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