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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Review: Freckles

Title: Freckles

Author: Cecelia Ahern 

Publisher: 1st September 2021 by HarperCollins Australia

Pages: 352 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: contemporary, women’s fiction 

My Rating: 3.5 crowns


You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city.

But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long: who are the people who made her the way she is? And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections.

Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin.

My Thoughts

One of the big attractions of Cecelia Ahern’s latest book is to place yourself in the shoes of the main protagonist, Allegra aka Freckles. With an underlying theme of  'you are the sum of the 5 main people you spend your time with' (not including family) it really gets you considering your own ‘famous five’. Ultimately, this book is about human connections along the spectrum of friendships to loneliness. 

‘That’s why the phrase hurt me. Because some deep primal instinct inside of me knew, faster than my head did, that I don’t have five people.’

The story is simple yet effective and filled with many quirky characters. It goes at a gentle pace (sometimes a little too gentle) and interestingly, there are no speech marks. None. One must focus to determine what is ‘thinking’ and what is ‘talking’. However, ultimately the focus here is searching for the key people in your life and not forgetting to include/find yourself in that process. 

It is definitely a little ‘left of centre’ with Allegra being such a unique individual. In some respects it would appear as if there is little character development but you have to delve deeper to find the true gems. You can embark on a journey and come full circle, right back to where you started but somehow things are profoundly different. To see the same life through a different lens, valuing more of what you already have. 

Freckles, a new style it would appear for Cecelia Ahern, is original and unexpected. However, refreshingly it is most definitely life-affirming in coming to the realisation about the people who make us who we are in this life. 

‘Are you a chicken, Allegra. Bok bok bok. Are you going to let what that man said break you down, knock you off your axis. Are you, Allegra. He called you a loser. He thinks that the five people you spend the most time with are losers and that you’re a loser and maybe you are because look how you’ve reacted, Allegra. Or should I call you Freckles. Who are you since you arrived here. Allegra or Freckles. Come on, make up your mind. ‘

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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