To The Moon and Back - Jill Mansell Sucked in by one of the daily deal prices on the blog Dear Author, I started reading the blurb at Amazon and totally got sucked in. "I really don't like chicklit" I told myself, but then after reading a chapter I wanted to know what happened next. Having it set in the London area was something I couldn't resist either - I've had a love affair with the city since I visited it in the 80s.The death of Ellie's (our heroine) husband is hard stuff to read, and happens in the first few chapters. I get weepy over certain scenes (even if they're tropes) at the drop of a hat - so I was easily along for the empathy. But after reading the sample I did want to know more about how Ellie held up afterwards. (Thus the "oh dammit, I have to buy this, but it's on sale.") Because she gets into the habit of talking to her dead husband - not that he's present as a ghost - no, she clearly knows he's not there and that this is something she's doing to herself to cope. And she realizes it's not a good thing.However so far it's not at all a serious book full of angst and such. I'm still giggling over the first time the hero (or I assume he's the hero or why else would he just pop into the story at that point)Zach gets a glimpse of Ellie on the street (she doesn't see him, so its all one sided longing on his part - foreshadowing!):[5%, p 20] "...the effect she'd had on him was extraordinary; he couldn't stop looking at her. Whoever she was, he wanted to know more. Heavens, what a weird feeling; he'd never experienced anything like this before."It was at "heavens" that I had to giggle. I somehow don't hear this coming from a man - it reminds me of something ladies a generation ago would say. (I have been teased for saying "goodness!" as this also sounds archaic. So I really shouldn't be laughing.) However, keep reading, and the banter between Ellie and a character you meet later - Roo - will redeem this. Still reading, more later.[22%, 91] Ellie, describing her father in law: "More like fairy godmother, the way you've been sorting out my problems."Which is exactly what I'd dubbed his character earlier, when he helped her with her housing dilemma....Did not see secondary love story coming - I was looking for it to happen elsewhere. Nice....Still liking secondary story. Boy there's a hellish amount of guilt everyone's feeling in this book, for various reasons. Some a bit over the top, yet here and there it feels realish - in the sense that yes, I've known of people having to go through this. Or the parts where Ellie tries to get herself to stop crying - everyone knows the "I will now talk to myself and make myself stop crying" inner monologue thing....Now at part where Ellie is ill, yet Zack is still all moony over her. I was with the book on its "love from afar/friends while together" thing, until the illness. People with the flu are not people to pine over. No matter how much you love helping the person. Having frisky thoughts about someone with the flu = SO wildly not reality. Speaking as someone who's been ill a lot, I know this to be true. And it's even less likely that you will have frisky thoughts about your caretaker, no matter how cute, if you are well and truly ill.You will gather from this that I rolled my eyes a lot during this part....Ok I really like Martha - the way she's described and the way she speaks. I'd quote her speech about how she's feeling on p 344, except spoilers. And also it would probably seem more melodramatic than real if taken out of context. But it really made me feel "this author knows something about losing someone in real life."...May have to rethink my "it's not a serious book of angst" statement earlier. There's a lot of crying going on, for understandable reasons. Death and infidelity aren't just things you can brush off and claim don't matter or hurt. At the same time, it's not all misery, and these are serious problems that you don't just suddenly wake up the next day to find resolved.Still am enjoying it simply because there's always plenty of hints that things will eventually be happier, and I do like some of the characters by this point. Now to see if the ending fulfills that hopefulness.......I really like that there are characters of various ages - that it's not another story full of 20somethings....And yes, all ends well.Originally I was going to rewrite this up to read a bit more like a coherent review, but bah, I'm leaving it this way. I will add that this reminded me why I usually read historical romances - I'd rather be in non-contemporary setting to be in a truly escapist type of fun-read. While I enjoyed the settings and some of the characters, issues like the loss of a loved one and aging are things that come way to close to events in my own life, and thus the read is much less an escape for me.