When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her father’s possessions, she discovers a truth where she never knew there was a lie. The familiar man she grew up with is suddenly a stranger to her.
An unexpected break in her monotonous daily routine leaves her just one day to unlock the secrets of the man she thought she knew. A day that unearths memories, stories and people she never knew existed. A day that changes her and those around her forever.
The Marble Collector is a thought-provoking novel about how the most ordinary decisions we make can have the most extraordinary consequences for how we live our lives. And how sometimes it’s only by shining on a light on someone else, that you can truly understand yourself.
Review: I used to be a huge Cecelia Ahern fan. That’s not to say I’m not any more, I am and I can still pin point a few of her books which became my absolute favourites (The Time of My Life and A Place Called Here were both fantastic and cute and quirky and magical and just ugh! Read them) but I don’t really read her genre any more, simply because over time, my tastes have changed. But I acquired The Marble Collector and have heard good reviews so thought it would be nice to re-visit Cecelia’s magical worlds again after quite a fair amount of time away. I also absolutely adore this gorgeous cover!
So The Marble Collector is about Sabrina, who’s dad, Fergus has suffered a stroke and now lives in a care facility. Due to the stroke, he’s lost a lot of his memories and can’t remember simple things that happened just yesterday. Sabrina meanwhile, feels like she’s stuck in a rut of the same old, same old, every day and the stability and routine-ness of motherhood is getting to her. Until she’s told to go home from work one day and her normal schedule is thrown off balance, she finds it to be the most exciting and eye-opening day she’s had in a long time.
Upon finding a whole box full of marbles in her dad’s care home, which even her mum has no idea about; some of which are valued at thousands of dollars, she begins a journey of not only self-discovery but a discovery of her dad. The man who she grew up with may not have been the same man underneath the closed off façade all this time. She learns of her dad’s old life, one he so passionately lived behind closed doors. She thought he’d lost his marbles but in the end, she found hers.
Now… I have mixed thoughts on this book. On one hand, it has all the beauty and mystery and magic of your typical Cecelia Ahern book. But compared to her others that I love, which I mentioned above, it does feel very much more “grown up”. Which obviously isn’t a bad thing at all but this is my review after all and what I thought of the book and personally, I didn’t enjoy it as much as her others. I don’t know what it was. The writing was beautiful, the descriptions were stunning, the characters were all very well developed. Like I said, it had all your typical “Ahern-isms”.
The main focus of this book is the marbles, which Sabrina’s dad used to collect and play and has a very extensive collection of marbles of all different sizes and colours and designs. I’m sure we all used to collect things and probably most of us still do, so it’s easy to tell how important these marbles were to him throughout the flashback parts of the story. The story being split into 2; the present day, with Sabrina and flashbacks to various parts of Fergus’ life – most of which, contain the marbles. Like I said, it was the epicentre of this book and entire story and whilst these marbles were described absolutely beautifully – of course which I wouldn’t of expected any less from Ahern – I just found the whole thing a bit… boring. Sorry.
I get it, I do. I get the story and I get how important the marbles were to Fergus and how precious they were and how excited he got by them but I kinda felt like it was like me trying to get one of you excited about my collection of thimbles from when I was younger. They might have meant something to me but I wouldn’t ever expect anyone else to be interested in them (I didn’t actually collect thimbles).
I think that’s the only reason I didn’t like this book and it was because that whole element took up such a big chunk and taken away, there isn’t much more of the book left. I would have loved to have known more about Sabrina, I thought she was an interesting character from what we found out and her connections to her dad that she didn’t even find out until now because he had kept his life such a secret. I would have liked to know more about her home life with her husband and children and her job.
There’s absolutely nothing inherently wrong with this book. If you love Cecelia, I’d definitely give it a try. If you like books based around family, I’d definitely give it a try. If you like warm-hearted stories of self-discovery, I’d definitely give it a try. It just simply wasn’t for me. Not enough happened and yeah. I don’t really have an excuse with this one, I just didn’t enjoy it that much. And that’s cool.