Book Review: "To the Moon and Back" by Jill Mansell

Summary from Goodreads: When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she’s ready for a new start – at work, that is. She doesn’t need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company...

Zack McLaren seems to have it all, but the girl he can’t stop thinking about won’t give him a second glance. If only she’d pay him the same attention she lavishes on his dog.

Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill...

Ever since I discovered Jill Mansell's books a few years ago, I cannot get enough of her. I love her style of writing. I love how she makes you get invested in her characters and you fall in love with everyone and want to know their story. That's just what she does in her newest book with Ellie, a young widow who is finally beginning to start her life over after her husband tragically died. I really liked Ellie's character. I understand her grief and even though she talks to her dead husband, she still allows herself to live. She doesn't halt her life and stay inside all the time. There was some miscommunication with Zack that I felt could have been avoided but overall I really loved seeing her blossom throughout the book.

I was a bit annoyed with Roo in the beginning because she refused to see what a lout the guy she was seeing with was. It's classic denial when one partner is cheating on their spouse with another. Even with all the evidence that was pointed out to her, she kept defending the jerk. It wasn't until something happens to her that she finally sees the truth. The results afterwards were rather entertaining and a bit cringe-worthy as well.

The only thing that I would change was that I wished there had been more on Tony and Martha's relationship. I felt like they were missing from pretty much the last half of the story. I understand that the focus of the book is mainly on Ellie with some parts on Roo. However, I really liked reading about Tony and Martha's relationship and was dying to know how it turned out and I didn't find out until the epilogue. Something that was interesting is that the issue they were struggling with was actually in the news recently involving a certain famous televangelist and I was interested to see what their actions would be in handling it.

This book is a bit sadder than most of Mansell's other books. Throughout the story, Ellie still mourns her late husband. She is able to move on but it's very obvious that he will always have a place in her heart. I am glad that she was able to find happiness though I will admit from just reading the summary it wasn't who I was expecting it to be with. I'm also glad for Roo as well. If you are a fan of chick lit, women's fiction or anything British, you will definitely enjoy this book. Mansell fans will want to add this to their collection. I am highly looking forward to her next book because I know it's going to be fab, just like how all the rest of them have been.

To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell is published by Sourcebooks Landmark (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher


  1. Hi Deborah, and thanks SOOOOO much for the lovely review - I'm thrilled you liked the book. I know what you mean about Tony and Martha too - I hated not being able to follow them throughout the book but Martha needed time to grieve and recover too!
    Jill Mansell

  2. Oops, I wrote 'too' twice and thought I'd deleted one of them, but they're both still there. Hate that! x


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