Review: The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern

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The newest offering from Irish author Cecilia Ahern, The Marble Collector, is a heart-warming novel that brings to light the importance of life, family and memories.

The book follows the character of Sabrina Boggs and her discovery of her father’s past. One day discovering that her father, Fergus Boggs, collected marbles, Sabrina goes on a journey to find out what she doesn’t know. When some boxes turn up at her father’s nursing home Sabrina becomes curious, especially after noticing that some of the most valuable pieces from Fergus’ marble collection are missing.

It becomes obvious throughout The Marble Collector that Fergus Boggs has not been entirely honest with his family, and it is this that makes for an interesting plot for the novel. Writing it from both Sabrina’s and Fergus’ perspectives allows Ahern to bring suspense to the novel, keeping the reader on their toes by carefully revealing information at selected times.

Ahern’s characterisation of both Sabrina and Fergus creates a sense of relatability to the reader and it makes you think, “What if I don’t know my family as well as I thought I did?” At its core The Marble Collector is about secrets and how people can tell you what they want you to know about them. But underneath it’s about the importance of memories and, most importantly, the importance of sharing them.

The focus on Fergus’ memory loss due to a stroke is emotional and it’s hard for it not to bring tears to your eyes, especially towards the end. Once you’ve finished the book you know all there is to know about Fergus’ life, but it’s heart-wrenching to think that Fergus himself can’t remember any of it. Ahern has a habit of making me tear up and The Marble Collector is no exception.

The best thing about Ahern is that she always makes you stop and think. The Marble Collector makes you wonder exactly how much you know about people and just how important memories are to you. If you don’t share them, who’s going to remember all the things you’ve done?

“We’ve all had things we never want to forget. We all need a person to remember them just in case.”


Words by Joss Woodend 

Picture courtesy of Harper Collins

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